Maturity Requires Intentional Growth!

The scripture tells us that we should become like little children to see the kingdom of heaven, but when it comes to loving people, it tells us that we need to put childish ways away!

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1Corinthians 13: 11-13

If you have raised children or have been around young people, you know how selfish they can be; generally, they are driven by what they want and when they want it. It is the responsibility of their parents to teach them respect, love, sharing with others, and learning to wait for what they want so badly. Most children don’t come with that propensity, so they can easily throw a fit if things don’t go their way!

The above scripture tells us that we start out as children speaking childishly, with little understanding, and thinking immaturely. As we continue to mature in the Lord, we need to intentionally work in these three area s and allow them to need to grow:

A mature person’s speech should be seasoned with salt

We can’t just speak things that cause hurt and destruction. This is easily seen in children fighting with their siblings. It is not pretty! They can say mean and hurtful things to each other. While many times they’ll get over the hurt, those words and attitudes can stay with someone into adulthood.

As adults we tend to say what we want in the name of being real. However, this does not lessen the impact of our words and what they do to ourselves and others. 

Good understanding is essential to maturity

Children generally see the world through their own eyes, which makes them think the world revolves around them! We as adults can do the same thing. It takes work to have a mature understanding of a situation, especially if it involves a conflict of some sort. This means we have to put my own feelings and opinions aside to have the chance to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.

When we attempt to see something from another person’s perspective, it does not mean that we need to agree or think their position is correct. It just allows us to see the situation from more than just your own angle.  If we take the time to understand, we can alleviate some unnecessary offense and tension. Many issues that seem huge at the moment can become smaller or even eliminated if we tried to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. This gives room for love not to vanish and continue to keep the relationship alive. 

A mature person Is learning to think right 

The scripture in Romans 12:1-2 tells us not to conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by renewing of our minds. Sometimes the patterns of the world are the old ways of thinking that keep us immature and don’t allow us to grow up and mature. We don’t want arrested development in our walk with the Lord. We must want to grow up and change our thinking. Otherwise, we will stay immature regardless of all the excuses. To think right we should audit our thoughts and our past patterns. Then we should challenge them and not assume that they are true or necessary any longer. 

We can apply the 1 Corinthians 13 passage to marriages. Many marriages struggle because people say hurtful things to each other. They get set in their ways, and then they start thinking of all the negative thoughts about each other. That’s a recipe for disaster! A healthy marriage will grow when both people can speak the right words to each other, put themselves in each others’ shoes, and think the right thoughts about each other. The other person is a gift from God who should be treated as such.

The above scripture reminds us that we don’t see or know everything clearly on this side of heaven. This means regardless of how prophetic we think we are, we need to accept with humility that we will not know everything clearly. Therefore, we should refrain from acting childishly when we know we don’t see everything clearly. To live and act maturely requires faith, hope, and love. If we do those things, we are coming out of childish behaviors and becoming the man or the woman that God has intended for us to be.

What areas do you need more growth and maturity? How are you going to be intentional about changing them?

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