Continued from here.
When I was a teenager, I was wise beyond my years in some areas, which led me to mistakenly believe that I was as mature as an adult. I wasn’t. While I was certainly more mature than the average teen in some ways, I was quite immature in other areas. From the perspective of maturity, I look back and cringe over just how immature I was back then – how completely clueless I was about different aspects of life.
The same dynamic is true in our spiritual lives. Most of us who have been walking with Christ for a while have areas of our spiritual lives that have ripened but others that have not. Just as I did as a teenager, it can be easy for Christians to believe that maturity in one area automatically means maturity in all areas, but that’s rarely the case. It takes time to mature, and we have to be willing to walk with God through the difficult process of growing in maturity in a particular area of our lives.
It’s vitally important to be able to accurately assess in which areas we have matured and in which we are still spiritual babies. We have no business trying to offer advice to other Christians about areas of their spiritual journeys in which we are just as immature, if not more so. If we delude ourselves into believing we are spiritually mature in areas where we are not, we run the risk of causing harm to others. Just as I would not give a toddler the keys to my car, I don’t need to be offering “constructive criticism” to other Christians in areas in which I, myself, have not matured.
The best way to assess your own level of spiritual maturity is to compare your behavior to that of Jesus, Paul, and others in the Bible. When someone wrongs you, does your reaction look like Jesus, who blessed his persecutors? When you are in an uncomfortable situation, do you remain joyful, like Paul? If your honest answer is no, that’s OK. It doesn’t make you “bad.” It simply means you are spiritually immature and that this is an area for growth.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace thinking about math. Courtesy Bitmoji.