Charles Stanley

The apostle Paul wrote that he once reasoned like a child, but he had now put childish ways behind him (1 Cor. 13:11). He was referring to the spiritual maturity process, whereby a believer’s self-centered ideas are replaced by a healthier perspective.

But maturation is just that—a process—so some immature thinking may linger with the Christian. Based on our childhood experiences, we may wrongly believe . . .

  • Lie #1—God’s love for us depends on how good we are. We act as if our behavior can positively or negatively impact His affection for us. But Scripture tells us that the Lord’s love is constant; it never varies.
  • Lie #2—Acceptance by others has to do with performance, not who we are. With this mindset, we constantly try to please other people. But we can rest in the truth that God has adopted every believer into His family; we are fully accepted.
  • Lie #3—Our security rests in social status, material things, or some other worldly prize. This leads to anxiety and manipulation as we attempt to acquire what we lack. The truth is, we’ll experience peace when we realize Christ is our true source of security.

These erroneous ideas represent a “hidden enemy of love,” because godly affection can’t flourish with immature attitudes. We must replace such beliefs with biblical truth.

Paul calls us to move toward maturity in our thinking and behavior. Clinging to immature ways can interfere with our sense of peace, security, and joy. But knowing the truth about God’s acceptance and recognizing that our security is in Him alone will lead to relationships characterized by His love.

Taken from “Love’s Hidden Enemy” by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).