What is spiritual maturity? Is there evidence of spiritual maturity in your life?
The apostle Paul wrote, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:2-3).
Paul chastised Christians for their lack of spiritual maturity and equated the issues of “jealousy and strife” with immaturity and a lack of spiritual growth.
Growing spiritually strong and maturing in faith is accomplished by following the practices of the first century church. These practices are found in Acts 2:40-47 and include devoting themselves to the apostle’s teachings, to fellowship (with others of like faith), sharing meals together and prayer. In Romans 10:17 we are told “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Being involved in a church and ministry are signs of maturity.
Paul’s word is confirmed by the apostle Peter when he wrote, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord” (1 Peter 2:2-3). There comes a time when those who say they are followers of Christ must become mature in thought, word, and deed. Christians must move from the milk of the Word to the meat of the Word.
For those who follow Christ there is always the need for the milk of the Word at the beginning. The maturing process (discipleship) takes time and does involve painful experiences. Everyone is different and no two people mature at the same pace.
The Bible is full of markers to gauge ones spiritual growth and maturity. In his letter to a young pastor, Paul wrote, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:12). Mature faith is evidenced in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Spiritual maturity occurs during the great trials and troubles.
Are you spiritually mature? If not, find a good solid church that teaches and preaches the Word of God. It is the Word of God that leads to greater maturity and spiritual strength. Are you growing in grace and faith?