Recently, I came across a quote that caught my attention. M. Angelou made this thought-provoking statement: “I am convinced that most people do not grow up…We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.”
I don’t know what you think about that statement. On my part, I got into some reflection. I certainly don’t want it to be true for me. I think you feel the same way too.
Spiritually speaking, the Lord wants you and me to mature. He wants us not to remain childish or immature, but to grow up and bloom to become the godly and genuinely happy people that he wants us to be.
I think that knowing whether one is spiritually mature or still immature is harder than most Christ-followers think. There are many ideas that circulate in the larger Christian community that state some believed qualities of spiritual maturity. Some of these ideas are wrong and they confuse people’s thinking about maturity. For example, there are people who think that Bible knowledge=Spiritual maturity. But this is not necessarily true. Most of us observe that there are people (maybe it’s even us) who have a significant amount of Bible knowledge, but whose actions, decisions, and words reflect childishness. For other people, church involvement=spiritual maturity. Again, this is not necessarily true. Not every person who is actively involved in church activities is spiritually mature. You could observe that in their actions and reactions.
Today, we want to talk about indications of spiritual maturity. Because we have limited time, we will cover only 4 indications. But I pray that the Lord will help us see how mature (or immature) we may actually be yet in those 4 qualities. Those who think they are mature should keep maturing, while those who see some immaturity in some areas are encouraged to cooperate with God in the process toward maturity. The purpose of the study and reflection is not to put down, but to achieve greater awareness so that we can move toward greater spiritual maturity. That is what God wants. That is also what is good for us and the people around us.