thoughts on maturity

My good friend and mentor, Mike Messerli, had a blog about what a mature Christian looks like and I wanted to share with some of you what I thought. I'd appreciate input from you readers.

In 1 Cor 4:16 Paul said (paraphrasing here), "Look at me if you want to see what a mature Christian looks like." Imitate me.

I think that it is an enormous failure in our churches that people don't know what a mature believer is supposed to look like. It is here too. We are so very caught up in doing that we are forget that doing flows from being. We are disciples and we are to behave a certain way. Disciples behave like Christ. At least we're supposed to. And we are in the process of being made in the very image of Christ.

Two friends of ours here, Dave and Helen Ekstrom, are 84 and 83 and when they drop in for a visit Jenny and I stop whatever we are doing and just chat with them. Someone needs to write their stories down. Anyway, when they leave, we are just amazed. We feel like we have been spending time with Jesus. As we thought about that, we realized that those two people are more like Christ than anyone we have ever met. Being with them feels very much like being with Jesus.

How frustrating for people to not know WHO they are supposed to be like! We are supposed to imitate our Savior and it doesn't take much searching in the Bible to see what He is like. Our process is the person of Christ. He is the genesis, the process, and the goal. He is all and in all so that in all things He will be first.

There are numerous lists to describe how a believer should behave, but the reality of it is that we are to be like Christ. Period. That's our model. Paul modeled Christ and so he could just say, "Imitate me". The catch is that following Christ has a cost that most of us simply do not want to pay. Our comfort is just too valuable. I too am in this process. I have great days where I am really depending upon the Lord. And I have days where I act like a 3 year old. I hope those days at least become fewer as I grow older.

I have been challenged by Mike to write down Dave and Helen's story. Maybe someone has already done that. But someone needs to do it. All that to say, if anyone here has experience writing a biography, please let me know. We'll see them in Friday. And we're looking forward to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have thought about this a lot since Mike and you brought it up, and I have to admit maturity is, for me anyway, difficult to define yet it is easily recognized when it is demonstrated. Marriage perhaps offers the greatest test of maturity (or lack there of) than any other relationship and relationships are after all, where our maturity is tested daily. There are of course other areas but for me making mature choices when dealing with other people is indeed my biggest challenge, especially on the mission field.

If I were a mature person, I think it would best be demonstrated by my willingness to sacriface myself, my wants, my money, my time, my life for the good of others.
Maturity is not something we manufacture deep in the recesses of our spirituality It does not come from our fallen sin nature. It does involve our choices though and it involves humility.

For me I think I reached a degree of maturity when I said to God, I have nothing to offer except a desire to be used wherever, whenever, however YOU choose. And its gotta be YOU, not me.

Just my thoughts. Oh yes, according to 1st Cor. 13, It really does not matter how mature we are, if we do not have love, it means nothing. Also just wondering when your good friends come to visit, what characteristic of Christ is most evident. I would like to have it. I am rambling. It is a rainy Sunday morning here, got lots of time. Haha