First, there's the idea of Christian maturity, and the contrast. We're called to grow in Christ, but also called to be like a child (Jesus' comment about not being able to enter the kingdom unless you are like a child). Note the difference between childlike and childish. Maturity comes when we are not tossed about by life's storms, and childlikeness is a call to inocence. We're called to be innocent, sinless. But that can't always come from ourselves. None is blameless, no not one. (Scripture evades me at this point as to references). That's where we have to accept the help of Christ. We strive to be sinless, not because we can save ourselves, but because we are grateful to the one who saved us.
It's interesting that Paul, the same Paul who wrote the letters that are so important and comprise so much of the New Testament, says that he has not reached it. So maturity comes in knowing that there is still more to grow. We must press on. Again, though, it's not of our own strength. Nothing I have gained is of my own strength, it is a gift from God.
Another thing that came home to me during the reading is that growth comes in the good and the "bad". It can be exciting to learn new truths, in fact, I think it should be. But sometimes growth is painful. As painful as things I deal with are, like how hard last semester was for me emotionally, especially on the Neurontin are, they bring home truth and growth.
Anyway, that's what I got. Hope I didn't totally offend anyone. That's why it's behind a cut.