Maturity might be measured by experience, age, appearance or accomplishments; however, a level of maturity isn’t automatically attained because of any or all of these factors. Speaking from a physical and spiritual perspective, age or how long a person has been a Christian doesn’t give them a level up to maturity. How dignified a person looks or how much religious jewelry they wear, scripture they share or how many bumper stickers they bear aren’t tell tale signs. A person who has many accomplishments and extensive religious training, leadership in the church, and a broad knowledge of scripture isn’t necessarily mature. Too many Christ followers never mature. They start at the basic level by accepting Christ, but never take a step that allows growth. Some have attended church faithfully, participated in Bible study after Bible study, and read many books about faith, and yet…no apparent growth or maturity. Jesus doesn’t call believers to accept him and then just vegetate and soak up holy sunshine for the rest of their lives. He calls believers to follow him, and there’s no way to truly follow Christ without growth!
Mt 25:40; Jn 10:10; Eph 4:15, 29; Hb 6:1; Js 1:2-4, 12, 26; 2:8, 14; 3:2; 4:1-3, 11-12; 5:7-9, 11, 16; Pr 13:10
So let’s press on to maturity, by moving on from the basics about Christ’s word. (Hb 6:1)
1) A mature person manages the pressures of life positively. Christianity isn’t about religion, it’s about life and life comes with its share of problems. Having the right attitude displays maturity. 2) A mature person assists others. Loving your neighbor and having a genuine interest in the lives of others is what God calls you to do. Learning to be selfless instead of selfish indicates maturity. 3) A mature person regulates their mouth. Self-control starts with the tongue. Our mouth can get us into many problems. Maturity will never happen without control in this area. 4) A mature person imparts peace. Two things that cause conflict are pride and judgment. If your prayer life is mostly “I want and I need and give me,” an assessment is needed as to what’s most important to you.And learning not to judge, but to be mindful of your own short-comings is a climb toward maturity. 5) A mature person operates with patience. Sometimes we must pray and work, doing whatever we can in a situation. Other times, we must pray and wait on God, because his work is the only work that matters. Learning when to work and when to wait is a mark of maturity.
Have you moved forward in your spiritual growth since you accepted Christ? How can you tell? What have you done to promote your spiritual maturity? Who do you think of as being spiritually mature? Has anyone ever shocked you by not being nearly as mature as you imagined? Has anyone shocked you by being far more mature than you imagined? What are you doing now to grow? How do you measure spiritual maturity in others? How are you doing with the 5 maturity steps in Thought above?
Write down indicators of your spiritual growth over the past 6 months. Make a plan for the next 6 months and decide what you will do to promote your spiritual growth. Get an accountability partner.
Dear Lord, give me the inspiration I need to mature in you. I want you to be proud of me, as a father is of his children when they grow, advance, and gain strength. Help me to move forward in my quest for spiritual maturity. Don’t allow me to be lazy and cumbersome to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to serve and love and be a believer who helps to bear other’s burdens. In Jesus Name, Amen.