Leave it to God to turn things upside down!
When we think about maturity, we usually think of it in worldly terms. I found a “psychological” definition of it on the internet which reads:
"In psychology, maturity is the ability to respond to the environment, being
aware of the correct time and location to behave and knowing when to act,
according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in."
This is a little more formal than how I would define it, but in essence I agree. I think of someone being mature who behaves in the right way in a given circumstance, especially when they’re in a stressful situation. The more mature they are, the better they are able to handle themselves.
And the more independent they are, the more mature they seem as well.
Yet when we think about maturity as a follower of Christ, the measure of maturity is exactly the opposite because the more DEPENDENT we are on Christ, the more MATURE we are in our faith.
I think that’s why we struggle in our faith and it feels so hard at times, to be honest. In our everyday lives, the more we “know” about a situation and have a solid plan of action, the better. That’s what we are asked to do in the workplace, have a plan and stick to it.
Yet in the world of faith, so often God asks us to show our maturity by moving forward WITHOUT a plan in place. To step out of the boat and simply walk in faith.
Here are some contrasts I came up with in how we measure our spiritual maturity
Immature in Faith Mature in Faith
In Control Surrendered
Someone who is served Someone who serves
Confidence in self Confidence in Christ
As we look at these things, we can quickly see how counter-cultural they are to what we are taught. Being mature spiritually goes against our natural tendency to do things in our own strength and our own way.
I can’t help but think about my kids when they were toddlers and how much they wanted to assert their independence. I recall with a smile those “I do it, Mommy” responses from a defiant three-year-old.
I also think back to my own life and how I longed to be independent, mature, out from under my parents’ control, especially in high school. Life was going to be so glorious when I was finally on my own. Everything would be perfect!
Boy, oh boy, was in for a rude awakening. Maybe you can relate!
So where do you see yourself spiritually speaking as you think about this upside-down measure of maturity? Have you been you using the wrong measure to track your growth?
I believe God is calling us to implement this very different way to measure our spiritual journey. And when you think about it, it’s actually a very beautiful gift, because the more dependent we are on Him, the more maturity we get to enjoy as a believer.
And the more mature we are as a believer, the more peace, joy, and contentment we are going to experience in our lives, even when things feel out of control.
Let’s be on the lookout for those “I do it, Mommy” attitudes we have with God and choose to be totally and completely surrendered to Him.
After all, that’s the best measure of maturity!
Hugs and love,