How do we know if we are spiritually mature? A lack in spiritual maturity can be identified with practicing old habits and actively entertaining old ways of thinking without seeking change. When we put away our carnal way of thinking, we begin to mature in Christ and grow to be the vessel God has predestined us to be.
Spiritual maturity means that you have allowed God to groom you and make you more aligned to His likeness. When one lacks spiritual maturity, it is evident in all they do and flows out into other parts of their life. You will see that many of their actions do not line up with the things that define God and having His likeness. In the scripture, the Apostle Paul first talks about how when he was a child, he spoke as a child. One of the conclusions that can be drawn when thinking of children and their communication is that they do not always think before they speak. Sometimes, the things children say may be true, but their delivery may not come off very pleasing to some people. This is something people in the body of Christ should be mindful of as well. There are times where what we may have to say may be true, but it’s our delivery that makes the difference in whether our point is accepted or rejected by most people. We have to make sure that the love of Christ is displayed, no matter what comes out of our mouth.
Paul also talks about how he understood as a child. Children often times go off what they see before them. They have a very difficult time seeing
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Mature. The definition of mature is; one that is fully developed physically; fully-grown. To me, mature means you are able to watch out for yourself and others, you are able to have manners, and you are reliable as well as responsible. Mature doesn’t have an age to it. There are many kids who are very young, for example, six or seven, who are mature. Others don’t mature until they are about thirteen or fourteen. It really just depends on the background of that individual. Maturity all ties into the changes that Scout undergoes in the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
Before we continue, we should discuss what maturity is. According to Wikipedia, the definition of maturity is “ a psychological term used to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate and adaptive manner.” This response is generally learned rather than instinctual, and is not determined by one's age. Maturity also encompasses awareness of the correct time and place to behave, knowing when to act with appropriate emotion for the situation. Maturity incorporates personal accountability, meaning you take ownership of situations you are involved in. By following one’s conscience, you are taking personal accountability.
Maturity is a state that everybody tries to reach during their lives. Children spend their infancy, and sometimes adolescence, growing up and learning how to behave in the adults and work world. Schools teach them dissimilarities between these two different worlds. There isn’t a precise age in which kids become mature, it depends on the experiences they had, their society, their family and other causes. In the movie and novel The Giver, the community has a rite of passage where children, during the annual ceremony, become more mature and assume more responsibilities until they get into adulthood.
Maturity is commonly used word, but when asked what the word means many people simply shrug their shoulders. Maturity isn’t a word that has a clear definition. Being based primarily on one’s connotation, it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Personally I picked this word up through context. However, upon doing a careful study of where this word originates and other’s connotation’s, I feel I’ve achieved a relatively good understanding. Webster claims the word to mean “based on slow careful consideration,” but I feel there is much more to this word than that.
To attain maturity, you must have a loss of innocence. For example, when a kid finds out that Santa Claus is not real, he is disappointed and cannot believe the fact that there is no Santa Claus, because
Maturity is not a fickle expression such as happiness or frustration, but rather an inherent quality one gains over time, such as courage or integrity. Before maturity can be expressed, the one who expresses it must have significant confidence in himself, since self-confidence is the root of maturity. Being flexible and formulating one's own opinions or ideas are aspects of maturity, but neither is possible without self-confidence. The greatest aspect of maturity is the ability to make decisions which society does not agree with. Whether or not one follows through with these ideas is not important. What is important is the ability to make the decision. These decisions represent the greatest measure
How does one know that a person is maturing? Are there signs? What defines maturity? “A mature person assumes responsibility for his or her actions” (“Maturity”) but does that mean someone who cannot do that should not be considered mature? In The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, both Holden and Taylor go through a period in their lives where they start “putting aside ‘toys’ and fantasies...seeing the world as it really is” (“Maturity”). For Taylor, adulthood is thrust upon her when she “inherits” Turtle, while for Holden it takes till the end of the book--when he is with Phoebe--to realize.
The parent or mature Christian is fully engaged in the mission of Jesus Christ. People who are in this stage are those who are witnessing and discipling others, in the same manner that he or she was discipled. They are looking out for the immature Christians, and taking them “under their wing” to encourage, listen to, and strengthen them to maturity in Christ.
When dealing with a situation in love, sometimes there is pain before the situation is resolved or restored. With a family we sometimes call this “tough love.” When a child is sinning, the parent works with that child to bring him into submission. Often the child does not want to repent. Instead, he continues in his sin, unwilling to turn away from it or “repent.” As a parent, we have the option of confronting the situation or ignoring it. The parent would be in a situation similar to the one we see Paul in. If the child refuses to repent, the parent must choose how to deal with the child lovingly. Paul, being totally surrendered to the Lord, was led by the Holy Spirit to write a letter to the Corinthians. The pain that he personally felt of not knowing how the Corinthians would respond and what they would do was outweighed by what he knew was best for the church.
Paul was disquieted about their lack of expectancy as it pertained to the gospel and the hope that was. Imaginably they were bemused by the situation that life present. Maybe their toil with hope was because of their misconception that God was not rich or charitable towards them, they had trouble believing God to be so rich to them. Because of their vulnerabilities, that really were issues of faith, they robbed themselves of experiencing the fullness of God's power. The power to:
Spiritual disciplines will prepare us for our journey in Christ. I feel if understanding correctly, the classical Christian Pilgrimage remind us that we all have issues requiring regular examination. In chapter eight, the classical Christian Pilgrimage tells us we are at different stages on the path of wholeness in Christ. However, in my thoughts some areas of our Christian journey we may be doing well, but in other areas we have not touched at all. Not to mention, these are the place we are not ready or capable of handling yet, however, as we mature in God and He knows what we can handle, then we are awakened. God awakens us to our true selves which have not been completely revealed. In reality, once we reach maturity to God, he reveals all that is hidden deep inside of us (the real us/you). By the same token, he let us see the inner behaviors, attitudes, desires, in fact how we measure up in them being Christ-like. I feel the awakening stage deals with the comfort of being set free of these issues that are holding us back also causing detours on our path to wholeness in Christ. Equally, the threat is being afraid to see who we really are; also how far from Christ-like we really are. We must first be awakened from our separation also alienation from God (Mulholland 79-82).
God expects individuals that call themselves “Christian” to grow spiritually. The Word of God encourages personal examination as a part of the growth process, as found in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Becoming more Christ-like focuses on how He works in us and not on our work for Him. The Cycle of Works demonstrates that regardless of work we complete, the acceptance of others, the sustainability of our works and the significance it brings, we cannot compete with God’s Cycle of Grace that show us that we are significant in His sight and that brings us sustenance and acceptance
I’d like to state the most obvious observation that I’ve made about spiritual formation; that is that I will always need to be seeking for ways to nurture my personal spirituality throughout my life. I know that to most people this may sound like a “duh” statement, but for me it has truly become a reality and one that I must admit I have been struggling to embrace. I was brought up in a church that, like most traditional churches, stayed happy living in the “comfort zone” of their Christianity. They took everything that the Bible said at face value without digging in to find out why they believed what they believed. I had never been challenged to look deeper into the text. In the past few years I have felt the need to tunnel out of this
A common piece of everybody’s vocabulary today is a word used in various contexts with little understanding to comprehend what it really means. “Maturity”, the stream of questions that come to our mind when we begin to ponder on the eight letter word is numerous. The most basic being, “What is maturity? How does one step up on the pedestal of maturity? And how do we measure maturity?” Einstein puts his perspective on maturity in an even more complicated manner, “I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity”, this view point does paint us a picture of maturity, but leads us to a whole new world of mystification.