I’m learning that age has little to do with maturity.
Maturity means to become ripe or fully developed. The problem within our culture is that so few are living in a mature manner that we have lost our bearings of what it actually looks like to be mature and thus our personal goals of maturity have become skewed.
Although, it would be easy to just talk about spiritual maturity or relational and practical maturity, there is no separation between these, they are one and the same. So let’s just discuss maturity as a whole including implications of our faith and our daily lives.
The first step in becoming mature is truly realizing and embedding in ourselves that we are not the center of the universe. This sounds a little comical, but one common trait I see in immature people (and in myself) is that we live our lives as if what we do, think and feel is more important than what others do, think and feel. This is so very key. And it’s not an easy position to move away from, some people never do. But we can’t allow their example to be our goal.
The only way I’ve witnessed folks taking that gigantic step away from self-centeredness is with strong and committed relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ. In Christ we can receive the kind of love that fulfills our need for attention and the need to be heard. And as we bath in the Love of God, He fills us with a completeness that frees us from trying to gain affirmation from people and gives us the option to actual take on the heart of the Father, so that we would be able to listen to and sincerely care for others.
I love the movie the Matrix! I even like the two sequels (although Matrix geeks hate them). If you’re unfamiliar with the Matrix you might need to go watch it and or skip over this paragraph, explaining The Matrix might make my brain hemorrhage (it’s too complex and it’s too early). I use to watch that movie with great revelation thinking how I was being depicted as the main character, Neo. I was the hero who was coming from disbelief in himself, developing into a victorious and renowned conquerer. Every line was encouraging me to be the best version of myself, to be the most awesome person I could be. And I know God was in that, He was building me up. But in recent days I’ve lost interest in “being” Neo. I’ve started thinking about Morpheus. Morpheus is the guy who helped Neo to understand himself. He is the guy who believed in Neo when no one else did. Morpheus was not looking to be the One, he wanted to help the One.
I believe there is a progression for each of us in our lives, where we can use our words to tell others what will help them, not telling others things that only glorify how smart and wise we are; using our words as a service to others versus a service unto ourselves. There is a progression where we’ll be able to have grace for whatever flaws others possess and love them anyway, over and beyond their flaws. We will be able to listen to them and hear what they are telling us. As we take on this posture, the Lord will give us insight into what we should be praying for them and what He is trying to tell them. We will be able to love and not hold other’s sins against them. To forgive them for whatever they could possibly do to us. To offer our selves as a sacrifice for them. In other words, to love others.
But the very first step in growing in maturity is in a very sober way realizing where we are and where we’re not. We don’t need to pretend to be something we’re not, that will only hinder our ripening. But, we need to expose ourself to the truth and begin to pray that God would bring us to a higher level of maturity. For our own good and for the good of the Kingdom. Let’s allow genuine maturity be a goal of ours. Let’s make progression.