Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Christian Maturity

Chuckle: A Sunday School teacher said to her class: "Now children, you must never do anything in private you wouldn't do in public." "Hurrah!" shouted one little boy -- "No more baths!"
Quote: "Four stages of growth in Christian maturity: Love of self for self's sake; Love of God for self's sake; Love of God for God's sake; and Love of self for God's sake." --St Bernard of Clairvaux

". . . let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity" (Hebrews 6:1 NIV). In 2 Peter 3:18 NIV, we are told to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
We all would like to think we are mature, both in our thoughts and actions. But we must realize that spiritual maturity is a process through which our Lord molds us into Christlike believers. Unfortunately, not every Christian will become a mature one; And the more mature we become, the more we become aware of our immaturity.
The dictionary says maturity is "the condition of being fully grown or developed." I believe the Bible was written that we might know Christ and that we might grow-up spiritually and become mature Christians. The book of James is a Holy Spirit inspired manual on practical Christian living, and it leads us toward becoming mature in Christ.
Many problems in life are caused by our immaturity. How many times have you heard someone say to another: "Grow up!" A lack of maturity can cause major problems in interpersonal relationships. It has been estimated that 90 percent of marital problems can be attributed to immaturity -- making bad decisions on who to marry and not having the maturity to make the relationship work once the marriage has occurred.
It seems logical that the longer you are a Christian, the more mature you will become. But there are problems with such an assumption. How long you have been a Christian, although an important factor, does not determine spiritual maturity. A bumper sticker which reads, "I may be getting older but I refuse to grow up" describes some Christians. Maturity cannot be determined by age, appearance, accomplishments, or by the number of degrees behind our names.
Christian maturity is a supernatural phenomenon which can only come from God through the power of His Holy Spirit. I saw this statement somewhere: "Maturity is an attitude which determines and results in character." D.L. Moody said, "Character is what you are; reputation is what men think you are." God is the only one who can measure our maturity and character. He sees your life from His eternal perspective and, if you are willing, he will grow (mature) your character to match the purpose He has for you in life.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything" (James 1:2-4).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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