This is a worthy goal, but what does it mean? It seems to me a lot of misconceptions exist regarding maturity. In its basic sense it means becoming an adult growing to full capability physically, mentally and emotionally. In respect to faith, we should consider spiritual maturity . This is where things begin to blur for many reasons. Do we reach Spiritual maturity through Bible study, listening to sermons, attending church services? Must we get some form of Christian education to reach maturity? What qualifies as mature, is holding a position in church as teacher, deacon, elder, or pastor the only evidence of maturity? I do hope those in these offices are mature, certainly Deacons and Elders as their qualifications are defined in scripture, but clearly maturity is for everyone.
We could contrast maturity against immature behavior, but adults can still behave inappropriately occasionally, without becoming children. Society in general is failing to bring our youth to maturity until later and later in their lives, because of Government and social hindrance. Big government proponents believe the Nanny State must assist (by taking over) parental authority. A secular State opposes Christian Spirituality and is therefore a barrier. Wisdom is a mark of maturity received from God through experience as knowledge and truth are applied in various situations and circumstances. God uses difficulty and challenge to build strength of purpose and He does this for our good. James encourages saying, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:2-5) Scripture provides a progression for maturity, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4) Paul’s focus was on Yeshua Messiah (Jesus’ Hebrew name) saying, “He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:28-29) Lord, you are working in these dark days to mature your followers. We submit ourselves to you and pray that all we endure will build up character, hope, faith and love as we mature in your grace. Have your way in us that we may reflect your light and truth around the world.