We all know people that are getting older but hat simply don’t mature in life. They are often angry or bitter; they may be simply childish and seem to keep making the same mistakes over and over. It’s easy to get caught in this trap. BUT…..we can stay on the right path and move forward on life’s journey in maturity.
What does it take to “be taken forward to Maturity”? First, here are some false assumptions about growth & Maturity.
Hebrews 6:1 (TNIV)
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity….
IT’S A FALSE ASSUMPTION that Growth is automatic. Growth is not an automatic thing. Just like our body needs nourishment to grow, that nourishment must be digested and the nutrients applied to the cells in our bodies before we can grow and grow strong.
My son- in-law is in college finishing his degree. He recognizes that in order to grow in a career, he must gain knowledge and experience. It’s not just an automatic thing. You cannot sit back and wait and expect it to happen. It takes planning, commitment and work.
And you don’t grow as a Christian automatically either. It takes understanding God’s wisdom, indeed, the wisdom of Jesus AND THEN applying it to our lives. We grow in maturity as we go through the process with Jesus of learning to forgive….yes, learning to forgive ALL people. We grow in maturity through the process of resisting the temptations of our pride. There are many, many more ways…..the key is applying the wisdom of Jesus. It doesn’t just happen!
IT’S A FALSE ASSUMPTION that Growth comes with experience. In fact, I believe some people stop growing because of their experiences. We all have experiences, but they don’t necessarily cause us to grow. We can all attend church regularly, go to Bible study and retreats, read good books, and be involved in ministries–but that doesn’t guarantee growth. These things are all important and they can add to growth but they don’t guarantee growth.
In order to grow–we have to make the decision to learn and grow as a result of our experiences. If we don’t apply what we learn through these experiences we are only experiencing…we are not growing or maturing.
IT’S A FALSE ASSUMPTION that Growth is the result of age. Getting older doesn’t require any effort at all, it’s automatic! I know–I’m doing it! But maturing in Christ is more than just aging. It calls for personal discipline, continual determination and spiritual desire.
IT’S A FALSE ASSUMPTION that Growth comes from information. If I knew everything there was to know about the guitar, how one is made, chords, strum patterns, the notes of each string….I wouldn’t just be able to sit down and play. It would have to apply this information and work at it. It would only be after I practiced and practiced and put this knowledge into action that I would eventually be able to play the guitar, and eventually maybe be able to play it well.
There are a lot of people in this world that know a lot about the Bible. They know a lot of theology and they know a lot about doctrine and the law. They know a lot about God. But that doesn’t make them mature. It just makes them informed. It’s the application of the information that leads to growth.
The one thing that sticks out in all these false assumptions is this: The APPLICATION of God’s wisdom, not just the knowledge of it.
So there you have it, it is misleading to think that maturity on this journey in life is automatic, comes from experience, is the result of age or simply comes from knowing information. These things do not make us mature. Hmmmmmmmm, so what else helps us mature on this journey?