Why Christians should Overcome the Peter Pan Syndrome

You might have heard of stories about Peter Pan, the boy who can fly. While having the ability to fly is an amazing ability of itself, he has another peculiar quality that is less known to many. He doesn’t grow old.

In psychology, they have a term known as the Peter Pan Syndrome. The Science Daily has this to say about the Peter Pan Syndrome:

“The ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ affects people who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child. The syndrome is not currently considered a psychopathology. However, an increasingly larger number of adults are presenting emotionally immature behaviors in Western society.”

In short, people who have the Peter Pan Syndrome are individuals who want to live a life with no worries, no stress, and no concerns. Responsibility and maturity is an offensive word to them. They don’t have any ambition in life. Like Peter Pan and His companions in the mythical Neverland, people with Peter Pan Syndrome simply have one purpose in life – to have fun.

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We are called to grow and mature

As Christians, we are called to be like our Savior and Lord, Jesus (Yahshua) Christ. He is our ultimate role model and everything He did, we strive to imitate.

If we look at Jesus’ life, we see a mature and responsible Individual. He is a Man with mission and purpose. He lived a passionate life dedicated to doing God’s will and purpose.

We can’t have the Peter Pan Syndrome and at the same time call ourselves Christians. We must live a productive life. God has blessed us with the gift of life and we ought to use our life – the time we have – in doing what God want us to do.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

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” (I Corinthians 13:11).

When we are still children, it is understood that we act like children. We think, talk, and act like a kid. All that we care is to eat, sleep, and play and eat, sleep, and play some more. It seems that we just live each day worrying what to play next. All our needs are provided by our parents. However, as we grow up, we can’t stay as children. We need to grow not just physically, but also emotionally and most importantly, spiritually.

Once God has called us into Christ’s Body of Believers, He expects us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). Being a Peter Pan and a Christian at the same time will retard our growth and worst of all, we stay “unskilled in the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:12-13).

We need to take heed the words written in Ephesians 4:14-15:

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, MAY GROW UP INTO HIM IN ALL THINGS, which is the head, even Christ.”

Growing up doesn’t mean giving up fun

Most people who suffer from the Peter Pan Syndrome have the misconception that the adult life is boring, tedious, and overwhelming. Thus, they simply choose the path of less resistance and stay within their comfort zone. However, growth only happens through challenges and struggles in life.

This is something that we must all realize: growing up does not mean giving up the fun things in life. In fact, I have written in the past about the 5 reasons being a Christian is not boring. Read it here.

I have met people who gave up the Christian life because they feel being restricted. They want “freedom,” and so they left the church. Sad to say, those people who left the church to find the fun in life are the same individuals who end up being more miserable, depressed, unhappy.

In Psalms 16:11, we read this astounding and amazing truth:

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with ETERNAL PLEASURES AT YOUR RIGHT HAND.”

Did you just read that, my friend? The Bible is saying that genuine joy, and that includes fun, is found in the presence of God! However, many people run to the OPPOSITE direction! Instead of going to the source of true happiness, they go on with their lives experimenting their way to happiness.

So if you think that it is not fun to be a Christian, you haven’t lived the Christian life properly. When God prohibits something and “curtail” our freedom, it is for our own good.

Finding happiness apart from God is difficult. Though we think the choice in front of us brings fun, in the end, it will just bring destruction. The happiness you experience is just temporary. At the end of the day, you wonder why you still feel empty inside. It is because you fill that emptiness with the wrong things.

More than just fun and happiness

We read the very word of Jesus, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Christ was telling us that He wants to give us life and not just a fraction of it, but to have life ABUNDANTLY!

While it is not wrong to have fun, we are called to live a higher standard of calling. Christians are called to do more than pursuing all the pleasures this life has to offer. But if we put God first in our lives, fun, pleasures, and happiness will naturally follow us. Of course, I’m not saying that we will never suffer for doing the will of God in our lives. Though we might not always be happy, I’m sure we are always blessed.

(Please take some time reading a related article, “Are you Suffering from The Missing Tile Syndrome? Here are 3 Biblical Antidotes!“)

Live a life with a purpose

So, do you still want to live with the Peter Pan Syndrome? I hope not. Christians are called to be mature Christians. Though infants in evil, we need to be mature in our thinking (I Corinthians 14:20). While it is pleasurable to live like Peter Pan, in the long run, it is you who will suffer the most in the future because of the wrong choices you made today.

Instead of living a Peter Pan’s life, LIVE A LIFE WITH A PURPOSE. Do the will of God in your life. Be filled with the passion for following the examples set by Jesus Christ. Eventually, when the right time comes, we shall all be enjoying “eternal pleasures at [God’s] right hand!”


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