“Brothers, do not be children in your thinking or be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”
-1 Cor 14:20
One statement that I have always kept near and dear to my heart is this, “Maturity does not come with age, maturity comes by choice.” A person can physically be 50 years old, but still be 15 years old in their thinking and spiritual maturity. Many times, we believe that just because we are getting older that we are maturing in life, but that is not always the case. We must constantly evaluate our hearts and our lives to make sure that we are maturing in Christ.
Maturity comes through our willingness to use God’s word and life’s experiences to better us as individuals. Maturity is knowing better and ACTUALLY doing better.
It’s allowing the wisdom of God,
the love of God,
and the Word of God to
and better refine you.
It’s having a heart that says, “Lord, help me be more like your Son Jesus in word, thought, and deed. Help me to live life the way that you see fit and have the courage to be obedient to your will no matter how difficult it may be.”
In life we will ALL make mistakes. No one is exempt from that. However, what separates the mature from the immature is what they do after they encounter a mistake. A mature person truly learns from the mistake and uses the lessons to change them and grow them for the better. If we want to grow, we have to look within “ourselves” and be honest about those areas that are not right or that we need to change. It’s so easy to point out the wrong in someone else, but one of the hardest things to do is to see the wrong within ourselves. It takes courage, it takes honesty, and it takes humility. Sometimes it hurts and is painful to come face to face with our own spiritual ugliness. But no matter how difficult it is, it is necessary in order to mature. No growth or maturity in life happens with the absence of pain. So we must not be afraid of the pain of life’s experiences, mistakes, and tests because all of those things if used properly, can aid in our overall growth and maturity.
Maturity is humility. It’s humbling being able to admit you’re wrong. Maturity not only admits wrong, but takes accountability for performing wrong behavior and then seeks to correct the wrong. Maturity does not make excuses towards God or others. Maturity doesn’t JUST apologize, it actualizes the apology and seeks to change the wrong behavior.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”-2 Cor 7:10
A mature individual is not content with stagnation. A mature person is constantly seeking to grow to new heights in Christ Jesus. For example, what if a baby became content with just crawling and never made any attempts to stand or walk. It’s not that this baby has any physical condition that prevents it from walking or running, the baby just chooses not to. That baby will have a VERY difficult life and not only that, the baby would miss out on so many of the beautiful blessings and experiences that standing, walking, and running could provide. So many times, this baby is a lot of us spiritually. We stay content with staying the same spiritually. We’ve mastered “one thing” and then we just stop growing. We pat ourselves on the back in pride saying, “Oh I’m not that bad, I’m doing pretty good in this area spiritually.” This way of thinking is not of God, and we must change it.
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God…”-Hebrews 6:1
When it comes to the Christian life, there is no such thing as FULLY and COMPLETELY mastering spiritual maturity. Even the most seasoned Christian has areas of immaturity in their life that needs to be matured. The key is constantly seeking to grow and mature. Maturing is a continual process. It does not stop. It’s having a heart that says,
“I need to be more patient,
I need to be MORE like Christ!”
I am not the same Ashley I was at 16, 18, or even 21 years of age. I have had many experiences and have made many mistakes over the years. However, through it all my prayer has been, “Lord please help me to constantly grow in you.” I’ve had to face the ugliness of my own spiritual immaturity and if I’m honest I STILL have to face that ugly truth. Every. Single. Day. There are still areas where I have to humbly cry out to God and ask Him to help me! I need Him to help me overcome the sin of negative behavior, and the wrong way of being and thinking. Many days it’s a struggle, but through the tears, the tantrums, and the tests I still must grow. Even when it hurts, even when it’s scary, and even when it’s difficult. I must continue to walk down the road of spiritual maturity.
I want to encourage you to keep maturing spiritually. Don’t stop. Let the love of Christ and the Word of God be your strength and guide. There are new heights and areas that God wants to take you. You can’t afford to stay the same or stay stagnate.
Keep moving into maturity!
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reason like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”-1 Cor 13:11