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 frightening 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
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 without 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.
Its 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."
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 Christ."
(Ephesians 4: 11-13)
All Christian resources coming from the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, converge
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.