Devotionals by Dale O'Shields


 

Mature?

Sulking, seething, pouting, retaliating, temper tantrums, self-pity, selfishness, unpredictable emotions.  What do all these phrases have in common?

These are things we expect to see in children.  They reveal childishness and immaturity.  They  are  symptoms of unhealthy and inappropriate ways of thinking and acting.  They indicate a lack of development in social skills and emotional management.

While parents anticipate these attitudes and behaviors in their children, good parents also address them.  They work diligently to help their children learn healthier and more appropriate ways of acting, reacting and responding to the frustrations, disappointments, denials and pains of life.  Good parents help their kids to “grow up” in they way they deal with their relationships and emotions.

Sadly, these kinds of attitudes and behaviors are not only found in younger folks. All too often adults are guilty of resorting to the same childish stuff.  While the reactions may be dressed up in more refined and sophisticated clothing, at the root the issue is still  the same — a lack of maturity.  And adults are extremely adept at rationalizing and justifying their immaturity!

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in one of his church letters. In his observations of the church at Corinth, Paul addressed the issue of childishness and immaturity:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.  I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.  I had to feed you with milk .. because you weren’t ready for anything stronger … You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other …”  —  1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NLT)

While Paul wanted to help these believers move forward in their walk with God and in their usefulness to the work of Christ, something was in the way.  He couldn’t take them any farther because of their spiritual, emotional and relational childishness.  They were adults in body, but still thinking and behaving like little kids.

What about you?  How many times do you resort to sulking, seething, pouting, retaliating, temper tantrums, self-pity, selfishness and unpredictable emotional reactions when facing frustrations, disappointments, denials or hurt?  How much childishness still remains in your life, and what impact is it having on your walk with God and usefulness to Him.

May God help all of us to grow up and leave our childish ways behind!

Dale O'Shields

 

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About Dale O'Shields

Dale O’Shields is the founding and Senior Pastor of Church of the Redeemer, a multi-cultural church that operates four campuses in Maryland, just north of the greater Washington, DC area.

Dale O’Shields is known for his relevant teaching style focused on practical application in people’s lives. His messages are regularly broadcast on radio and television. He is also the author of several books, devotionals and group study guides.

Dale O’Shields is a frequent conference speaker with a passion for leadership development and church growth. He has served as the Senior Pastor of a thriving local church for over 25 years. His heart to equip and encourage pastors and church leaders has led him to be a key founder of United Pastors Network.

Dale O’Shields has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving previously as Director of Campus Ministries and as an adjunct instructor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He and his wife Terry have two married daughters and six grandchildren.

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19425 Woodfield Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
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