By: Dr. David Olshine
As a young Christian attending seminary, I once heard a sermon in chapel that explained God’s goal for us is to become mature. The message was good, but the messenger never explained what maturity is and how one achieves it. Who are the spiritually mature?
Are they the people who possess a deep knowledge of the Bible and have memorized all the key passages? Are those who preach effective sermons spiritually mature? What about people who always think and talk about heaven or those who talk and act super spiritually? Does maturity come from following rules, such as the folks who don’t smoke, chew or run with those who do? Is maturity confirmed by those who chant, “I love Jesus, yes I do! I love Jesus; how ‘bout you”?
God tells us through His Word how we are to achieve spiritual maturity.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things; and if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Philippians 3:14-16).
What is maturity? The text defines it: Maturity is living up to God’s calling (Philippians 3:16). Each one of us is dysfunctional on some level, and each one of us has some strengths and sweet spots. We each are a mixture of maturity and immaturity, but the goal is set high: Live up to what Jesus calls us to be and do. Nobody has it totally together. The apostle Paul even admitted that about himself: “Not that I have already obtained…” (Philippians 3:12).