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God has a schedule for your life, a plan for becoming the person He expects you to be. But He measures your progress by the signs of spiritual maturity in your life, rather than by the days marked off your desk calendar.
Maturity is a measurement that applies differently to different people. A mature infant will gurgle and coo, while a mature high school student will recite the Gettysburge Address. They are vastly different in their capabilities, yet each is mature.
So how do you measure spiritual maturity?
Here are some guidelines:
- You are making the most of the opportunities God has given you. To get a picture of what this means, review Jesus' Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
- Your life is bringing glory to God. This means your life acts as a mirror, reflecting God's blessings to people who have not seen what He can do (Matthew 5:14-16).
- You can discriminate between good and evil choices. You have learned the difference by repeatedly choosing the good (Hebrews 5:14).
- You gladly receive instruction from God's Word and act upon it. You have become good soil for the seed of the Word (Luke 8:4-15).
- You measure yourself by Christ. He is the true model of spiritual maturity, rather than your friends or famous Christians you have read about (Ephesians 4:13).
- You think as an adult-that is, as a spiritual adult (Corinthians 12:20).
Characteristics of adult thinking:
- Ackowledges reality. Confronts the true facts of each situation, even when the facts are painful.
- Defers satisfaction. Willing to wait months, even years, for the things desired.
- Contributes to community. Addresses the needs of neighbors as well as personal needs.
- Concedes predominace. Knows one cannot get his own way every time.
Is your own thinking mature in each of these respects?
1. You care for others as deeply as you care for yourself. The spiritually mature person often deals with his neighbor's needs before he deals with his own (Philippians 2:3-4).
2. You apply what you've learned from your failures. This is a rich concept. When you have a disheartening experience, don't write it off as a failure; consider it an experiment, Remember that an experiment never fails. It always teaches you somethings.