Today many believe that spiritual maturity is measured by the amount of biblical knowledge, and doctrine you know. While knowledge is one measurement of maturity, it is not the whole story. The Christian life is far more than creeds and convictions. The Christian life has to include conduct and character. Our deeds must be consistent with our creeds and beliefs; and our beliefs must be backed up with Christ like behavior. Christ like maturity is to think more about the good of others than ourselves. Paul shares this idea in the love chapter of what love really is: 1st Corinthians 13: “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 childish ways behind me.” Paul concludes that thinking of others is spiritual maturity.
Our Christian life is not a philosophy, but a relationship and a life where we practice thinking of others as Christ did. It is not about pushing your way to the front, or sweet talking your way to the top. It is truly about putting ourselves aside and helping others get ahead. Philippians 2: 34 MSG. teaches: “Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
Thinking of others is the heart of Christ likeness, and the goal of spiritual growth. This kind of thinking, and this kind of behavior, is unnatural for us, countercultural, and very rare. The only way we will learn to think, and live this way; is by living out our faith as Christ has taught us through the scriptures. It is taking what we have learned and putting it into practice with our faith family for others in the name of Christ. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the key role to our maturity. It is to understand the lengths God took through Jesus to help us overcome the shadow of religion, to understand the love God has intended for us all.
Love brings joy to those all around us in Jesus Christ our Lord.