The following is another good one from Lee. Enjoy! -anita
As I get older (notice I didn’t say “old”; I’m still in process) I’d like to think I’m gaining in years and in maturity, also. But, then I do things which make me question that fact! Clearly, an increase in age doesn’t necessarily equate to an increase in maturity. By “maturity” here I’m thinking of acquiring the wisdom required to act wisely and respond appropriately in a given situation.
One would think that, as we accumulate years and the experiences that make up the days of those years, we would gain some wisdom. We go through various life experiences and see the consequences of words said, actions taken, and decisions made, and one would think there would be some learning taking place. Well, let me be the first to say: Not so! At least not all of the time. If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again. Saying the same things, reacting the same ways.
In an article written by Rev. John P. Sartelle Sr., he says that most of us spend our lives using faulty information. Our starting point is wrong, due to our sinful nature that colors everything we say and do. As he puts it: “All too often, it is the worldly culture around us that sets our standards in the march to maturity.” And even worse, he says, “When we follow Christ…we have the tendency to simply baptize our worldly paradigms and idiosyncrasies and name them ‘Christian.’”
Too often, attaining years or position/title in life seduces us into thinking such attainment is synonymous with maturity. I can think of way too many leaders or people of great office or position who astounded me with their levels of immaturity, at least in some situations. And I certainly see such immaturity rise to the surface in my own life, at least in some situations.
It seems to me that maturity is a component of sanctification—the process whereby we slowly become holy and more like our Savior. Two key words here: 1. Process and 2. Slowly. Given that the process of sanctification takes our whole life, I guess it follows that maturity attainment may take my whole life, as well.
And while the world will tell you (and show you with money, affection, and subservience) that attaining titles, position, office all are indicators that you are now mature, to believe that is to believe a lie. We’re using the world’s standards, not God’s. Our model for maturity is Jesus Himself, the One who taught that the first shall be last and the last first!
Rev. Sartelle goes on to say that, when Jesus next appears, we will be like Him [1 John 3:2]. “We will take on the maturity of Jesus….” according to Sartelle. And he makes this observation, which I love: “I cannot imagine living with no sin in my heart.” And further, “…for now, there remains the need to repent every day.”
Sartelle’s closing observation gives me great hope: “It is ironic—confessing our ongoing immaturity in itself is a sign of maturity.”