WHAT IS CHRISTIAN MATURITY?
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Romans 7:18
When a parent raises their child from infancy to adulthood, the goal is to set him free at age 21 to soar on his own. Along the way, a family looks on and notes the child’s progress. The dependency of a toddler morphs into growing self-sufficiency as he learns to do things on his own. Hand-holding lessens with age.
As a human, I am prone to take earthly contexts and impose them on scriptural principles. When I think about being mature in Christ, I believe I should no longer be dependent and needy. I should be mature and learn to manage myself. I should practice restraint when needed and boldness when called for. Others should say of me, “She’s so mature in Christ.”
But this is all backwards! As an adult who engages God as my Father, I find that He starts undoing self-sufficiency and turning me back into a child. I discover that what I think I should be able to do, I can’t. When I think I should be good, I find that I’m not. In fact, the closer I get to my Father, the more sinful I discover I am.
Christian maturity is to be utterly convinced of my own sinfulness and fully confident that I am helpless in His world. I revert to toddlerhood; unsure of my next steps, not able to climb the steeps of the mountain of faith without taking Him by the hand. If I venture out on my own, I fail. If I stray from His voice, I get lost. And, to make matters more severe, I have an enemy I can’t see that is constantly waging war against me. My Father is the only one who knows him, knows his war plans, and can equip me with the necessary battle gear that will give me victory. God is teaching me how to fight but I can’t learn war strategy when out of ear shot.
In short, Christian maturity is to be a small child. Dependent. Needy. Words the world despises but concepts God loves and fosters. The more I need Him, the better He likes it.
I have often felt shame that I can’t do anything without you, but help me to see that this is progress, not regression. I am your child, always. Amen