The second mark of a spiritually mature person that James gives us is found in James 2:8, which says “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, `Love your neighbor as yourself’ you are doing right.” There’s a lot of truth and doctrine wrapped up in this short verse, but the bottom line is this..
THE SECOND MARK OF A SPIRITUALLY MATURE PERSON IS THIS – THEY PUT THE NEEDS OF OTHERS AHEAD OF THEIR OWN.
Spiritually mature people get the idea that life isn’t about them. They get the truth that God put them on this planet to be a blessing. God breathed life into them to build others and encourage others and invest in others. That’s what Philippians 2:3-4 says –
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
This kind of maturity doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. A life long process, and it starts with the spiritual discipline/habit of denying yourself. Jesus said it like this in Luke 9:23 – “Then Jesus said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'”
Loving your neighbor means you pray for them, you look for needs to meet in their life, you serve them. Whatever you can do to help them be the person God created them to be. Imagine a church full of people who lived like this and loved like this and served like this. We couldn’t hold all the people who would want to be part of a church family that did this. Here’s the challenge I have for you – start coming to church every week 15 minutes early and look for needs to meet. It’s the idea of “see a need, meet a need”. Ask The Lord to direct you to people who need a word of encouragement or maybe need a word of prayer. Look for ways to help serve in a ministry or around the campus. This is how The Lord will develop a servants heart in you.
This is what spiritually mature people do. This is how they live. There is joy in this. There is fulfillment and significance in living like this. This is how Jesus lived. This is how he wants us to live. Mark 10:45 says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
And one more thing – before you start serving like this in our church, start living like this in your home. Serve your spouse. Serve your kids. Kids, serve your parents.