Growing Up in Christ

Growing UpChristian maturity is, in many ways, relative. How fast and how far we progress in our spiritual development depends a great deal on the people with whom we interact. Further, our maturity, or lack thereof, is often recognized when we are in demanding situations.

When my wife and I were first married, we immediately moved away from family and friends so that I could attend seminary in another state. It is important to understand that I thought I was a pretty mature Christian at the time. I had, after all, been leading a Bible study and had twice taken youth music/drama groups on various tours, ministering in numerous churches. I was pretty confident that I had achieved at least a level of maturity.

When I started interacting with seminary profs and fellow-students, though, I felt like I knew nothing. Suddenly I became keenly aware of many deficiencies in my spiritual life. Compared to my family and friends back home, I was right up there at the top. Measured against my new relationships, I was severely lacking.

Our first grandchild is nearly a year old and has rarely slept through the night. Recently, my daughter-in-law made a statement I found very profound. “If you would have asked me before Emma was born if I was a patient person, I would have said, ‘Yes.’ Patience is something I’ve long thought I had a handle on. Now I don’t think that at all.”

Do you want to grow in your spiritual life? Practicing the spiritual disciplines is, of course, vital. Along with those, though, I would also encourage you to put yourself into stretching situations and hang around with people who you see as spiritually mature. Taking such deliberate steps will cause your own maturity level to rise.

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