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Sunday, June 29, 2014

When Adults Act Like Toddlers

Photo by: artur84

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan footballer, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. He bit a fellow player. The sanctions mean he won’t be able to play any more in the World Cup. This isn’t the first time he’s bitten someone. He’s done it twice before in football games, once with an even harder sanction than this time.

I watched the video. It looked clear to me. He opened his mouth, clamped down on the other man’s shoulder and left bite marks. (Then, he dropped to the ground—diving?—and grabbed his teeth like they were injured! The other man dove, too, holding his jersey out so everyone could see his injury.)

This post isn’t really about Luis Suarez. It’s about adults acting like babies.

It’s about you and me.

As an adult, have you ever:
  • Thrown a temper tantrum?
  • Cried over something not worth crying about?
  • Picked something up and thrown it in anger?
  • Punched the wall?
  • Yelled unkind words?
  • Pulled someone’s hair, hit, slapped, bitten, or poked?

When children are under three years of age and do these things, we correct them. We tell them it’s not appropriate conduct. We stop them. We give them time-outs and discipline to help them learn what’s acceptable and not.

When an adult does the same things, we feel like he must have some underlying problem, and he can’t help it.


No!!!! When an adult does these things—you know it’s true—it shows a lack of maturity and self-control.

When an adult reacts violently in anger, whether he hurts someone else or not, he is being a Big Baby. It’s as simple as that.

If he has already committed the fault, been corrected and still hasn’t learned, he’s being rebellious against authority. (The jails are full of repeat offenders.)

When an adult man bites another man, while playing a soccer match, for the third time!!!! don’t you think he deserves a time-out?

Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). Temperance means self-control. Meekness here means taking negatives in a sweet spirit.

When we’re not walking in the Holy Spirit, we can get out of control.

How can we walk in the Spirit? 
  1. We obey the Holy Spirit’s leading. New Testament examples are Philip and Paul. They did what God told them to do.
  2. Reject following our own flesh. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. . . . That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1, 4).
  3. Be conscious that we belong to God. We don’t want to displease our Father. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8:15-16).
  4. When we don’t know how to act, remember the Holy Spirit actually prays for us. He will help us to know God’s will. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:27). How humbling is that!
  5. Be completely controlled by the Spirit. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
  6. Be on the offense, and use the sword of the Spirit. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Notice that the sword of the Spirit is the Bible! God’s Word can be used against evil forces.
  7. Behave like a Christian. Only let your conversation (way of life) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (Philippians 1:27). 

The Bible tells us to represent Christ in the way we live. If you have a tendency to lash out, yell, throw tantrums, or punch walls, you are not living Holy Spirit-controlled. It’s as simple as that. Whatever your issue, you need to get alone with God, memorize verses about it, and pray for the Lord to help you. He will!

It is possible to glorify God. If it were not so, God wouldn’t have commanded:
  • For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20).
  • Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Let’s walk in the Spirit!

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things.
(1 Corinthians 13:11)


  1. I'm afraid, with the de-emphasis on disciplining children in homes and schools for years, we're going to see more out-of-control adults. Then again, we all need to work on self-control in some area or another. Good reminders!

    1. Thank you, Barbara. Yes, we all need more self-control. It's one of the evidences of Christianity. God bless!


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