“Brethren, do not be children in your thinking, yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature."~ 1 Corinthians 14:20
In churches today, many people misunderstand maturity. They think maturity is about the buildup of experiences through time or through the aging process. The truth is maturity has very little to do with our external experiences and much to do with our innermost being. Yes, you have experienced a lot of life outside of yourself, but so has everyone else. Here is the thing about your experiences, if you weren’t present and aware of what was happening in Christ, your experiences were involuntary and had little to do with your maturity— basically, life happened.
What does it take to be mature? It takes intentionality. Against popular opinions, it’s not about how “knowledgeable” a person may be. It’s about how willing a person is to change! The willingness to transform (Romans 12) to make an impact in life and God’s Kingdom.
Right maturity takes right living. Many Christians avoid the truth of who they are by piling on worldly beliefs and clinging onto them. However; the mature Christian, in their lifelong pursuit of Holiness, comes to see all their ways as “filthy rags” compared to Christ. Right living is about not being deceived into a false sense of being, but putting the right things in place built on God’s Way.
Spiritual maturity is love. Many Christians idea of love is to love only to receive love. “I need you to love me so I can love you back” mentality. This is immaturity! To truly be mature means to love as God loves – unconditionally. The mature person loves because love increases their damaged sense of self and relationships both with God and others. The mature person doesn’t love to be pleased by another, but to surge God’s love forward.
True maturity is about doing good. So many Christians do “good” out of pity - meaning, they feel sorry for a person, charity, or organization in their depressed state, or they do “good” out of sense of duty because it makes them “feel” good. If you are doing “good” for any other reason than how God defines it, then you are fulfilling the desires of the flesh. We do good to be rich in God’s work (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Anything outside of God’s goodness is completely destructive and juvenile. To do good, our motivation must come from a place of inner harmony that only comes from Christ.
Wrapping things up, know, to be mature we must think like God, and allow the evils of this world to be the immaturity of our thoughts. Rather than the turmoil of this world conditioning your mind, allow your thoughts to be transformed by the mind of Christ so we can be the Lord’s presence and ministry in the world.
God give us the mind, heart, and strength to be intentional to grow in your Ways. In Jesus’ maturity, Amen.
Drake Hunter, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Fort Morgan, CO