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Articles

Peter Pan Syndrome

There is a song in the musical Peter Pan that says: 

I won’t grow up, 

I don’t want to go to school.

Just to learn to be a parrot,

And recite a silly rule.

If growing up means

It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree,

I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up

Not me!

I won’t grow up,

I don’t want to wear a tie.

And a serious expression

In the middle of July.

Not a penny will I pinch.

I will never grow a mustache,

Or a fraction of an inch.

‘Cause growing up is awfuller

Than all the awful things that ever were.

Sometimes Christians suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome. They don’t want to grow up. They’d prefer to never be challenged to change or grow. They want things to simply stay the same. 

It is important to understand that maturity is not automatic. Often maturity is equated to growing up. The physical body grows regardless of other circumstances. But that is not the same as maturity. 

The same is true spiritually. The Hebrew writer said: 

“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For 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, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity . . . 
           – Hebrews 5:11–6:1

If simply growing older brought maturity, the recipients of the book of Hebrews would have been the most mature group in the early church. They had known about God longer than the non-Hebrew Christians. But time did not mean maturity. 

The way to be mature is seen in Paul’s words to Timothy: 

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
        
—2 Timothy 3:16–17

The scriptures are the source of maturity. They are able to make every man complete, perfect, or mature. But one must seek maturity through the scriptures. 

Spiritually, make sure your motto is “I will grow up!” You can through God’s Word!