Without a doubt, probably the number one cause of problems in the world is immaturity. The number one marriage problem is people just need to grow up. They are acting immature. We get ourselves into all kinds of problems by saying immature things, making immature decisions, acting in immature ways. We just need to grow up.
God’s will for every person is that they grow. In Hebrews 6:1 says, “Let us go on to maturity.” God says grow up. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” God says grow up. That’s why one of the purposes of our church is to help everybody grow up and mature and become like Christ. What is maturity? How do know when you have arrived? I’ll start writing about that tomorrow. Let me start by saying what maturity is not
Maturity is not age. It has nothing to do with how long you’ve lived or how long you’ve been a Christian. You can be a Christian for fifty years and not be mature. I’ve seen some 50 and 60 year old kids. Maturity has nothing to do with your age. Granted, God’s ideal is that as we grow older we get more mature, but that’s not always the case.
Maturity is not appearance. Some people just look mature. Some people just look more spiritual than the rest of us. They look kind of dignified, they look like they’re holy. For the rest of us it’s just tough luck. The fact is, you can look real spiritual and not be spiritual at all. It has nothing to do with your appearance.
Maturity has nothing to do with achievement, what you accomplish. You can accomplish a lot and still be very immature. You don’t have to be mature to make millions.
Maturity has nothing to do with academics, how many degrees you’ve gotten, how much education you’ve gotten. You can have so many degrees they call you Dr. Fahrenheit but that does not make you mature.
God says maturity is attitude. Attitude is what makes the difference. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” We memorized that verse a few weeks ago. It’s a good verse. It’s a verse you can build your life on. You begin to mature when you put your stake in the ground and say, I want to have the same attitude of Jesus. I want to think like Jesus. I want to feel like Jesus. I want to act like Jesus. God wants you to grow up and have Christlike attitudes.
How do you measure spiritual maturity? Not by comparing yourself to other people but by comparing yourself to the word of God. In the book of James we have a manual on maturity. The word “mature” in Greek is the word “teleaos” — it’s translated mature, complete, perfect. James uses this word five times in five chapters. James is a manual on how to be mature. James gives us five marks of maturity. We’ll start looking at those tomorrow. Join me for the next 30 days. Whether you feel like it or not. Don’t live your life based upon how you feel. Rise above that.