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Strive For Christian Maturity

The most pressing need of our day is maturity.
Very immature people are attempting to handle very mature problems.
The gap between the maturity of our problems and of our powers
and the immaturity of too many people is the most serious gap in human existence today.
Unless that gap can be filled, we will suffer from frustrations which may prove fatal.
For we have the awful power to ruin ourselves.

How can I be a mature person in my situations, my problems,
and deal with my possibilities in a mature way?
That attitude will  enable us to proceed to find for ourselves
the most necessary thing that the business of living demands -- maturity.
Reaching maturity is a must.

Most marriage  problems center in immaturity in either the husband or the wife, or in both.

If we don't become mature, we will hinder the purpose for which we are made.
In that case we  become self-stunted.
For we are made for maturity.

Some pressure for maturity comes from a world pressure.
Most demands for maturity come from our immediate surroundings.
Many demands for maturity come from within.

A father goes into a temper tantrum to have his way in a household.
A mother sulks because  something hasn't gone her way.
A member of a business firm nurses self-pity because he hasn't been promoted.
A young man retires into himself because he lacks the courage to face life and its responsibilities.
A member of a household retreats into illness as an escape
from assuming duties and responsibilities:
"If I were well I could  do them, but I'm not well, so I don't have to do them."

Many revert  to infantilism of letting the crowd make their decisions for them,
absolving themselves of the responsibility.
Others show a  childish egotism that parades and struts and bids for attention.
Some domineer over others as one child domineers over another.
Some are aggressive toward others to cover latent inferiorities.
Many are  grown up in some respects, but have moments of immaturity.
Some argue over trivial issues as children argue over nothingness.
Some hold emotional attachments to childish things and never grow up.
Others hold leftover prejudices that cause them to have blind spots.
Some cling to childish fears, jealousies and envies
that characterize childhood, but are upsetting among grown-up  people.
Others have such an immature religious faith that it leads them as immature personalities.

Worst of all, many are caught on a low  level of living
and have ceased to grow and have ceased to  aspire to grow --
living in a daily grind instead of a daily  growth.
And most pathetic of all, is the person
who finds that life has lost its joy, its sparkle, its zest, its energy,
and  life has turned into a mere existence, and existence has turned into boredom.

Those are a few of the many reasons that the great need of our age is for maturity.

The question is: according to what standard shall we be mature?
It matters  greatly what standard we take.
For we become like that to which we habitually gaze and to which we aspire.

Some psychologists suggest that you are mature when you are adjusted to your  surroundings.
But that is a low level of adjustment, and  adjustment to immaturity .

The sixth-grade son of a  psychologist was seated dejectedly on the front steps.
There was no one to play with, because all his friends were doing their homework.
"And why," asked his father, "are you not doing  yours?"
The boy replied: "Well, Dad, I never bring any work home,
for  I have adjusted myself to inferior grades

We can adjust  ourselves to low levels
and become permanently immature by the  very immaturity of our level.

Some suggest maturity which reflects standards worked out on a purely human basis
a  relationship to God, as if God didn't matter.
This is definitely a very immature maturity.
It cannot stand up under the demands of human living --
demands which stretch from time into eternity.
This is a succumbing to the Sordid Is, instead of rising to the Sacred Ought-to-Be.

The Christian faith has  something definite and very important to say
amidst all this confusion and moral collapse.
The Christian faith majors in  maturity.
It's purpose is to produce mature character.

"Him  we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom,
that we  may present every man mature in Christ.
For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me
(Colossians  1:28-29)

And again, we find it even more definitely:
"And  his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists,
some pastors and teachers... until we all attain... to mature manhood,
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Chris
t." (Ephesians 4:  11-13)

All Christian resources coming from the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, converges on the production of one thing: mature manhood.
And a mature manhood according to a very definite pattern
is the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ .

Nothing could be clearer!
The aim  and purpose of the whole impact of the Christian faith is to produce maturity.
And nothing is more gloriously breathtaking than  the pattern of that maturity --
the measure of the stature of  the fullness of Christ.

There is nothing higher, and we can not  be content with anything less.


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