Sometimes it takes the old girl here a few decades to "get the whole message" particularly as it relates to very familiar Scripture passages like The Love Chapter, First Corinthians 13..........duh........
For some reason it was during today's reading in church that it hit me what "When I became an adult I stopped reasoning like a child." (NRSV) really means in terms of mental and emotional maturity.
Unbelievably I have never considered 1 Corinthians 13 in the context of how I think and reason and behave in relationship to childish things like hurt feelings over things other people say to me, or in terms of seeking revenge when someone hurts me, or in terms of participating in things like gossip with others. You don't have to be a Christian of course to know that these things are not loving responses to your fellow man and to refrain from participating in them, but it was their connection to childish reasoning vs adult reasoning that escaped me until today.
It is childishness that creates unnecessary hurt feelings, revenge and gossip. Love not only covers (actively forgives) multitudinous instances of those sins but is what is responsible for growing us past the temptation to participate in them. For those of us in a giving and receiving love relationship with our Creator God, his love covers our sins toward himself and others and our God given love for others is to cover their sins toward us.
While we can't stop our bodies from maturing, we can stop our thought processes and emotions from maturing. Most of us who are not suffering the effects of some kind of mental or emotional dysfunction that strips us of choice in our behaviour have the ability to choose to allow or to refuse to allow our emotional responses to mature and change for the better.
Lord, help me to stop reasoning as a child. Help me to put away childish emotional responses and act my age, in relationship not only to my chronological age but in relationship to the number of years I have known you and have been receiving the benefits of your covering love toward me!