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The Journey Toward Maturity

Maturity is one of those traits where there is always room for improvement. Depending upon the situation, you never know when tantrums from your childhood may rear its ugly head. There is something about pressure and stress that often brings out raw emotion. Whenever you fail these social pop quizzes, it’s a painful reminder that you still have a long way to go on the journey toward maturity.

As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving, Colossians 2:6-7.

The apostle Paul compares maturity to planting a tree in a good location. The Psalmist writes about the ideal environment down by a river side so that roots can get fresh water daily, Psalm 1:1-3. Jesus tells a story about 4 basic soils, 3 of which have limitations that will hamper and stunt your growth, Matthew 13:18-23. Only when you plant yourself in a fertile environment will maturity begin to blossom.

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

The earthly brother of Jesus refers to opportunities for growth in the passage above. Despite how frustrated and irritated you may become, trials and temptations serve as a way to work out your rough edges. Meanwhile, one of Jesus’ disciples compares difficult situations to proving grounds where your faith is tried and tested. The more things that are thrown at you, your journey toward maturity will be accelerated as long as you cling to faith in Christ.

by Jay Mankus

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