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As he or she grows, there are many opportunities to grow in knowledge and understanding of how to use that knowledge. In our behavior we must model the innocence of an infant, but in our thinking, we are commanded to be mature. “12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:12–14ESV). Babies progress from drinking milk to eating solid foods—from knowing nothing to teaching others; but what causes this process to stall? As verse 14 points out, maturity comes through constant training of the mind so that it becomes a useful tool for understanding truth. Maturity happens slowly, over years of practice and observing how things work. As you walk according to the Spirit, constantly seeking God’s truth and following Jesus in all the practical ways you can, your thoughts and actions will be transformed to be more and more like God’s, making false ideas easier to identify. Romans 12:2 reinforces the idea that discernment comes through walking in the will of God: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ESV Maturity makes us useful in the kingdom of God. The more you are tuned into God’s way of thinking, the more value your thoughts have in discerning truth and strengthening your Christian brothers and sisters. Mature thinking requires intellect, the ability to reason and understand ideas objectively (basing conclusions on facts instead of personal feelings and opinions). As we mature, we learn to use sound reasoning, which is essentially thinking and making decisions in a helpful, logical way. Here are some pointers to help you exercise good thinking: Value knowledge. Truth comes in the form of knowledge which we must acquire and apply to our lives. A mature thinker is diligent to grow in knowledge (2 Peter 1:5) and expand his or her worldview through educa- Loaves & Fishes • Issue 32 | 5


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