(The Story of Jesus)
We left off yesterday with words from Jesus that essentially said, “Grow up!” What does that look like? What does it mean to be grow up and mature? And why must we even ask that question? Because we work so hard, every day at our jobs, trying to be the best mother, father, parent, employee, or volunteer, that sometimes we forget what it means to mature and get stuck in neutral without much thought of being a better person today than yesterday. I found something that might help as we seek a deeper understanding of what Jesus is telling us to be and do in our walk with Him and our relationship with others.
How Maturity Is Expressed – We see evidence of maturity emerging in our lives when:
Our concern for others outweighs our concern for ourselves.
The presence of evil or danger is detected before it is obvious.
We have more than high ideals; we have discipline to carry them out.
Emotions are tempered by responsibility and thoroughness. Awareness of needs are matched by compassion and involvement.
There is not only an understanding of a task, but also the fortitude to stay at it until it is done.
There is a willingness to change.
There is the ability to grow spiritually.
AND…Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, finish a job once it’s started, and carry money without spending it. And last, but not least, it’s the ability to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
“You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5, Msg
However…Jesus reminds us…
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you wan’t be applauding.” Matthew 6, Msg
Jesus further explains maturity…
“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure–‘playactors’ I call them–treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it–quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” Matthew 6, Msg
Dear Heavenly Father, Help us to grow up and mature to the point that we are who you want us to be and do the right thing without even thinking about it so there is no thinking about ourselves. We remember what Paul said about You, dear Lord, in Philippians 2…”Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.” Help us to live more and more like Your subjects of Your Kingdom…even as children of the King. May we come to you with child-like faith, but not continue to be CHILDISH in our walk. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit who guides and helps us in this journey of maturity. In Jesus Name, Amen