Becoming an adult does not necessarily bring emotional maturity, nor does being a Christian for years automatically bring spiritual maturity.
Paul described the process as being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2).
Only by being exposed to the teaching of God’s word and making a conscious decision to allow His thoughts to be our thoughts will we be transformed into His likeness.
The believers at Corinth came into the church with preconceived ideas and false views. Earlier in this epistle, Paul describes them as still being “infants in the Christian life” (1 Cor 3:1NLT). Their abuse of the spiritual gifts confirmed this analysis. Wrong thinking leads to wrong beliefs and then to wrong values and convictions, generating wrong emotional responses.
Their childish thoughts and beliefs had to do with the high value they placed on the gift of tongues. Nothing else mattered. Even the Scriptures had lost their appeal, and the simple teaching of the texts was not as attractive as a miraculous tongue.
Paul was saying that their elevated view of tongues was childish because the ecstatic experiences made them feel important and spiritual. They misinterpreted the mystical feeling for reality. They had little concern for others; thus they were loveless and carnal. The Corinthians needed to be “infants in evil”—-that is, they needed to be inexperienced, and unaware of evil.
Using the same form of the verb, Paul commands, “In your thinking continuously be mature.” The Corinthians were not open to new teachings, nor were they interested in serving others; instead, they wanted only their emotional highs.
For the immature, experience always wins over truth. To them, mystical encounters are more appealing than reason. Are you willing to imitate the Bereans (Acts 17:11), who were “examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so” that Paul had been teaching? One has to be committed to discovering what God’s word says, not what we might want it to say.
“Dear Lord Jesus, it is childish to base my spiritual beliefs solely on my feelings and experiences. Make me wise through Your word and able to think in a mature way, opening the door for true ministry.”