Whenever we hear the word maturity, we usually measure it based on our observations of a person’s daily outward behavior. It may seem quite easy to label different individuals as either mature or immature, depending on how we perceive them.
But what if we talk about our own maturity? Without any bias, can you, with all confidence, call yourself mature? Can I call myself mature? Could there be any way to measure our own maturity?
In his first letter to the Corinthians, theApostle Paul gives us a simple guide for evaluating our personal spiritual growth and maturity.
"WhenI was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV"
From this verse, we can find three indicators of maturity (or immaturity) to look out for.
1. How WeSpeak
This involves the words we use when conversing with different people in our daily lives.
We need to be cautious and always “place a guard” over the words that come out of our mouths.
The Book of Proverbs warns us about the power of our tongue to either bring life or death to ourselves and the people around us.
Similarly, Jesus admonishes in Matthew 12:33-35 that words reveal the true state of our hearts and what kind of person were ally are.
Finally, the Apostle Paul reiterates inEphesians 4:29-30 that we should not let corrupting talk come out of our mouths as this is one of the things which grieve the Holy Spirit.
Words are definitely crucial to our maturity as believers, and we will do well to pay attention to them.
2. How WeThink
There are only two people in the world who are aware of what’s going on in your mind – God and yourself. God, of course, is the only One who perfectly and fully knows each corner of our deepest thoughts.
But we can peep into our own thought processes and understand how we think about an issue or person in a certain way, either positively or negatively.
Once we discover that we have not been thinkingBiblically or according to the standards of Philippians 4:8, then our minds need to be renewed.
The Apostle Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
Based on the verse, it is important to note that we cannot transform ourselves into maturity. The Bible says, “Be transformed.”It is the Holy Spirit who is the agent of sanctification and change, who transforms us to be more like Jesus.
But we are not passive. We are responsible inRomans 12:1 to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice”. This gives the HolySpirit room to move in us and do His work.
Our outward behavior, our words and actions, all stem from our thoughts.
Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to renew our mind sand transform us “from glory to glory” as we gaze on the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
3. How WeReason
Our reason is our underlying basis, cause, or motivation behind things we say, do, or think.
Decisions we make and battles we fight (or choose not to fight) are some results of how we reason. Our reasoning affects our decisions, which in turn, affect our maturity, which finally, affects how we live our lives.
Our reason is the best place to ask ourselves why we do what we do or why we pray what we pray, and if our words, actions, thoughts, and even prayers, bring glory to Him.
More than examining our own hearts, we must allow God to search us first - for He knows us better than we know ourselves.
The Psalmist says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart…” (Psalms 139:23a,ESV)
Only the Lord through His Spirit can truly reveal the innermost recesses of our hearts, including our reason and our motivations.
Going beyond our words and thoughts into our reason is a sign of maturity, because we have understood the absolute holiness of our God who wants us, His children, to be holy like Him.
So, those are the three measurements we can use to check our hearts and lives for evidences of spiritual growth and maturity.
I hope that we will immediately avail of them and intentionally check how we Speak, Think, and Reason to find out if we are still acting like children or now growing up into the men and women God has called us to be.