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Spiritual Maturity Begins With Love
Anything that is spiritual is not of this world. It is divine, heavenly and for the sake of this article it is anything relating to God. Maturity is a word which has nothing to do with age; rather it has everything to do with growth and ongoing development.
Putting the two words together, we can conclude that "Spiritual Maturity" is simply the process of developing in one's relationship with God and the things of God. From that brief definition, we can conclude that spiritual maturity is a process. One is not born with it, but one has to grow into it. To that end, we can say that spiritual maturity is ongoing and it begins when one accepts Jesus Christ first as his Savior and then lives by following the example of Jesus Christ. From that point on, there should be some signs of spiritual maturity.
About Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual maturity is not automatic. A person must want to grow, decide to grow, and make an effort to grow. It requires a commitment to grow. One does not reach a certain point and then believe he has all the maturity he needs. As long as we live and breathe, we should always strive toward a deeper intimate relationship with God that results in spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is walking in obedience to God's word and striving to do the will of God.
Reaching Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual maturity is not only for the pastors, preachers, deacons and Sunday school teachers. Spiritual maturity is available for all and not for the select few. Like natural maturity, spiritual maturity takes time. A person cannot become a believer one day and reach spiritual maturity the next day. However, reaching spiritual maturity depends on what a person is willing to do to attain it.
Examples of Spiritual Maturity in Biblical People
Not all the times, but usually we can see certain signs of spiritual maturity in ourselves and in others that indicate we are growing and developing spiritually. When we study the lives of biblical people we can clearly see how they matured.
At 17, Joseph was not ready to become second in command of Egypt, but through his trials of being put down in the pit, sold into slavery and ended up in Egypt where he spent several years in Potiphar's jail, Joseph matured into the capable position of being second in command over Egypt. Even though this happened when he was 30, it was not his age that made him mature.
We see Nehemiah as a cupbearer with a sad countenance in front of the king. If we follow along with him, we see his spiritual maturity played out through his initiative, discernment, leadership skills, teamwork, accountability, and service.
Paul summed up spiritual maturity this way: "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Jesus summed up spiritual maturity in one word: Love!
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35).
The Process of Spiritual Maturity
The process of spiritual maturity is first living on milk, being still an infant who is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. However, as one grows and develops he is ready for solid food because now he can distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14). As a new believer, it is quite all right to be milk fed, but something is wrong if a person continues to be fed from a bottle and uses a pacifier. Instead, God expects us to put those things aside in the spirit just as we did in the natural. We are expected to chew on the meat of God's Word.
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY MATURE
- Your Spiritual Seasons
Your life has patterns that are characteristics of the seasons. Just are there are four natural seasons, there are also four spiritual seasons. What season are you in right now?
- God's Will For Your Life
Christians frequently ask, “God, what is your will for my life?” All Christians will become aware of God’s plan for their lives by understanding some simple principles.
Spiritual Disciplines For Spiritual Maturity
- Bible study
- fellowship with others
Evidence of Spiritual Maturity
- leadership skills
- having a relationship with God
- getting along with others
- having fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
How to Become Spiritually Mature
If you want to become spiritually mature, do what Jesus did according to Luke 2:52, "And Jesus increased in wisdom (knowledge and understanding) and stature (physically), and in favor with God (spiritually) and man (socially)."
In other words, spiritual maturity is not what you BELIEVE, but it is how you BEHAVE!