Spiritual Maturity

Esta es una traducción del texto original publicado en Inglés, si deseas leer el texto original haz click aquí: Madurez Espiritual

As we grow in spiritual maturity, our desire grows toward mutuality.  We want to have a contribution, and we want to grow in our contribution.  Often as we are in the beginning stages of our journey, we look for and seek everything and everyone who will make a contribution to and for us, with little thought toward contributing. This is normal and shouldn’t cause any alarm.  “What’s in it for me?” is an expression of immaturity, coming from an immature mind and perspective…

Dependence, Independence, Interdependence 

We can see this in Paul’s thoughts on impartation in Romans 1.  Here he explains that impartation is, in fact, mutual.  It’s not something that the “great man” or “great woman” comes to town to do, it’s something that we participate in, mutually.

10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be [h]established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.
So much of what we see around us, and even the way things are constructed, in effect locks us into immaturity.  Don’t be alarmed, however, if Jesus is the one you are following, He will lead you on, beyond these things!

God At Work

God is at work in us.  We have to keep this in mind.  It’s not just what we desire or feel a need for, or the desires of others.  There is a desire that is present, working, that is higher and in addition to any and all human needs and wants.  It’s the desire of God Himself.  His desire is present and working among us, both to will and to do of His good pleasure, as is clear in scripture.

If we forget this, or fail to recognize it, we get reduced to and locked inside the struggles upon and between each other.  This is a place where blame and accusations flourish, and where we will feel an obligation, maybe even a responsibility, to “wrestle with flesh and blood” for what we feel we need or what we want.  This is missing the point and threatens to invalidate our lives and ministries.

I long to see you…

There is another thing to point out in the scripture above that is worthwhile in thinking about… Some things we need, both to give and to receive, require togetherness.  Why didn’t Paul just “impart” whatever he wanted to give in the letter he was sending?  Think about it.

Clearly, Paul realized that there was something he needed to give and receive that required togetherness.

One thing that comes to mind here is that togetherness creates the opportunity for dialogue.  One of the weaknesses of a letter is that it is monologue.  With the advent of real time communication since the times when Paul was doing his work among us, we may feel like we have overcome the limitation of what can be done over distance.  I want to submit to you that there are some things that happen when we are together that no technology can overcome.  We need to be together.  Such things are forfeit if we fail in this one thing.

The Special Contribution of Every Part

One opportunity that is available to us, and so much more so, as we are together, is finding how our “part” fits together with other parts.  We all have our special contribution, the thing that God has put in each of us that He wants to emphasize through our lives.  Being together helps us encounter these things about God, what he has put in others.  And not only that, but we can begin to see and understand how the part we bring connects to and is a part of a much larger thing, and how it fits with others.  It can also remind us that, while we are legitimate parts of Christ’s body, we are not legitimate “independently”.  As a part of Christ’s body, we are connected to other parts.  The examples that come to mind from scripture are abundant and above equivocation.  We resist this fact to our own peril.

Assembly is for Function

Everything I have said above is at risk of being used to emphasize the importance of attending a meeting.  I want to be clear.  I am not trying to get you to “go to church” or go to a church meeting.  That argument is being made by others, and to full measure.
We see things as we are, not as they are.  Unless our point of view can be expanded, we will interpret everything just the way we always have.  Remember the admonition, of Jesus, “Having eyes to see, do you see not?”  This is what happens when we don’t change. 
What I am talking here is about assembly, perhaps in a technical sense.  The old KJV talks about not failing to be assembled, and so much of the verbiage around that has been used to “arm twist” people not to miss the church meeting.  So little of what we do in such meeting has to do with assembly, if we look at it in this technical sense.  Just because all the parts of a bicycle are in the same room doesn’t mean that it is ready to ride.  Assembly is for function.  The parts have to be joined together in their place, and to the other contributing parts, in order for function to be possible.

Parts Exist In Contemplation of the Whole (Credit: Peter Drucker)

What’s my point in all of this?
Let’s grow up.Let’s grow up into a perspective of having a contribution, not just being contributed to.Let’s find the parts of the whole we are supposed to be joined to.Let’s learn how to contribute to each other, and to work together for the benefit of others.Let’s commit to growing into this and not being satisfied until we are fruitful in it.Let’s realize that we are part of something bigger and not fail to be together with these parts.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

4 Replies to “Spiritual Maturity”

  1. A goodun Scotty,
    If no one else will commend you or I, we will commend one another though your article tells us this is not the indication of spiritual maturity. Just the same, I like what you write.

  2. 2 Corinth 5 looms very large in the background of this post brother. I more n more view our willingness to see things different as a significant part of our ‘ministry of reconciliation’… vertically as well as horizontally.
    A dear brother (pastor) having gone thru a significant lengthy trial told me that his takeaway from it was that ‘sometimes, there’s no ram I the thicket’. Having shared this with another dear brother (a missionary in Africa for 30 yrs) he replied, sometimes we are the ram in the thicket. 👀

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