Moving On to Maturity (1)
Spiritually, some of us haven’t grown up. ‘You… ought to be teaching others, but instead you… need someone to teach you… until you become… mature...’ (Hebrews 5:12–6:1 TLB) Just as there are signs of physical growth, there are features of spiritual maturity like the ones mentioned in 1 Peter 3:8 AMP: (1) ‘Be… united in spirit.’ Now unity isn’t the same as uniformity where everybody has to think alike or even unanimity where we have to agree about everything. Unity is focusing on what unites us, instead of the petty issues that divide us. (2) ‘Sympathising with one another.’ The Greek interpretation of the word sympathy is ‘to feel for’ others. ‘When [they’re] happy, be happy with them… when they are sad, be sad.’ (Romans 12:15 CEV) When you become more concerned about others than you are about yourself, you’re starting to mature. (3) ‘Loving each other.’ We all need friends to love and support us—people who will freely and generously give us their time. (4) ‘Be…compassionate.’ In a high-tech age it’s easy to tune out those in need. When Jesus saw people, ‘...He felt compassion…because they were distressed and dispirited...’ (Matthew 9:36 NAS) Hurting people touched His heart, and they should touch ours too. (5) ‘Be…humble.’ Charles Swindoll says, ‘Look for opportunities to give… to build up rather than tearing down, to serve rather than being served, to learn from others rather than clamouring for the teaching stand.’ So, how are you doing so far?