Its been a few weeks since I celebrated my birthday. I am one year older than the previous month, 17. However, maturity is never determined by age or looks.
I have met some friends who are in their 20s and are still behaving like a kid. Nevertheless, they look like their age. Some, however, are in their early teens and behave like a mature adult!
Being mature is an essential tool for knowledge and wisdom. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 states:
'When I was a child, I talked like a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.'
If we are childish, we will interpret things differently. Since a childish person thought like a child, when problems hit them, they may brush the problem off one side and leave it for others so solve. Hence the problem may never be solved, or it may be solved by others. However, for a mature person, as they put their childish ways aside, when they problems come their way, they will think differently and try to solve problem. This is called thinking in maturity.
Likewise, there is a difference in behavior. Given an example: quarrels between friends. After a quarrel, a childish man will act as though he had never seen his friend, and act indifferently; a mature man will try to initiate a session where they can talk and not worsen the relationship.
Next, spiritual maturity is important in our Christian walk. Hebrews 5:12-14 states:
'In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God ’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.'
No matter how many years we have been Christians, perhaps for 5 years or 10, we may find ourselves not growing in spiritual maturity at all. This is because when God sometimes speak to us, or commands us to accomplish something, we are sometimes so reluctant that we tend not to listen to Him, maybe because of our tight schedule, or problems that had made us so tired. We need to constantly run to the Lord and hear His voice, as well as not to let sin trample on our lives and become the gap between Christ and us. It is only when we recognise what God wants us to do, and keep following Him, then we will grow, not only in faith, but also in spirit and truth.
A baby grows to a young healthy person because of the food He intakes. You cannot feed the baby with curry or chilli at a tender age. Similarly, you cannot feed a young adult with baby food. You have to choose the diet that is suitable for their age. Now that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you need to get rid of all the old ways you lived previously; things that war against your soul, since you became a new being in Christ.
'For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.'
1 Peter 1:23
'Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.'
1 Peter 2:1-3
This is why the word is so crucial for our spiritual maturity. The word serves as a guide: when we apply it in our daily lives, we will grow in maturity, because the word will cause us to think things differently with a Godly perspective. The bible states:
'When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.'
Making yourself available to spend time with Jesus, when you start to listen to His teachings, you will be filled with wisdom and spiritual maturity, just like Paul and John. They did not attend school, and was ordinary men, just like anyone of us. However, because He spent time with Jesus, this led to a growth in wisdom, courage and maturity. Spiritual maturity is never determined by the amount of school you attend, the frequency in the lessons that you sit in, or the good school you may currently attend; spiritual maturity grows when you take time to read the word, apply it in your life, and spend time with Jesus!
Lastly, just an advice for all:
Stop staying as a baby, waiting to be spoon-fed. Start to desire spiritual growth, and spend time with the Savior in prayer and the word. For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). God bless you and hope your faith, strength and maturity will grow one step higher as you finish reading this post. Also, share with someone about the importance of salvation and spiritual maturity today! :)
I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.