Growing Up Spiritually
How old are you when you are considered "grown up"? Is it when you're 18 or 21 or when you have your first apartment? Is it when you get married or have your first child? For the Hebrews, you became a man or woman at age 13. There is no definite, all inclusive time when you are fully mature. That is also true of growing up spiritually. It isn't after 1 year or 10 years. For everyone it is different and, in fact, I believe the years of our lives are spent growing and continuing to mature. But recently, I've been concerned that I see so many Christians who have been believers for more the 10 years, some for more than 20 years, and they still seem very immature spiritually. It makes we wonder why? Is it because they were never discipled or if they were discipled, was that discipleship very superficial? I'm not saying they haven't grown, but their spiritual lives seem to be in the same place they were 10 years ago. They don't know the scripture. They don't understand some essential spiritual truths. Their lives still have the same issues that they've had since first following Christ. I don't have a tested hypothesis for this, but it seems like they've never been challenged to be anything more than just a believer. Part of that is my fault as their leader and part of it is an errant belief that all Jesus wants for us is just to live good lives and then go to heaven. When Jesus said he wanted us to have an abundant life, I don't think this present Christian reality is what he was describing. I'm growing every day, we all should be, but there are many who seem to have reached a stagnation in their maturing process. Our spiritual growth will not determine our eternal destiny, for that is by God's grace alone, but our spiritual growth does reveal the truth of our hearts about our desire for and intimacy with our Savior.