#1. It’s not about age
You can be 60 years old and claim to be a Christian yet remain an old fool. God doesn’t care about age. Growing in your faith will take a lot of time, energy and effort that you must invest if you want to be mature.
In fact in, 1 Timothy 4:12 the Apostle Paul encourages young Christians to be good examples to other believers: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. “
#2. It’s not about achievements
Who cares whether you read your Bible 25 times or whether you memorised the whole book of 1 Peter or whether you’ve got a PhD in Religion from Harvard? Nobody really because you could’ve done that for the sake of doing it to get accolades and be held in esteem by your peers as “very spiritual”.
I want to remind you that the Pharisees essentially did all the above and had a trophy room full of their achievements. Jesus Christ condemned their actions of false humility and achievement.
This is not to say that reading your Bible 25 times or getting a PhD in Religion (I could talk about that but that’s another topic) is wrong however it’s all about the motives.
“You can have all of your doctrines right – yet still not have the presence of God.” – Leonard Ravenhill
Spiritual maturity is not measured by how high you jump in a worship but rather how straight you walk in obedience.
#3. It’s not about appearance
#1. Your faith does not depend on others
If your faith depends on others, then it is prone to being shaken and blown away very easily. Put your faith and hope in God because He is an unshakeable rock.
#2. You are constantly conscious of the sin in your life and your need to repent and confess it
This is one of the greatest evidences of a maturing believer. Everyone of us who claims to be a child of God will be susceptible to sin all the days of our life. Just because we are “saved” does not mean we cease from sinning.
#3. You find peace, joy and fulfilment in the mundane times
Many people live from each big event, party or entertainment to the next but life doesn’t always work that way. In fact there are many seasons where it is trivial and mundane.
When the going gets tough many Christians leave or give up. They try out Christianity but when it doesn’t work out so well for them, it’s time to quit.
Mature Christians on the other hand understand the value of the mundane and the difficult for it is in these times that God can really bring us closer to Himself and teach us lessons that need to be learned.
#4. The instability of the world does not cause you to freak out over that which you cannot control
When you recognize that our great Captain is at the helm of the ship then you realize that you really do not need to fear or worry about all that happens in this life. Christ gives us peace amidst the turmoil… peace that the world cannot give.
#5. You do not neglect prayer, Bible reading, good testimony, teaching, encouraging and exhorting others.
Prayer, reading your Bible, having a good testimony, teaching encouraging and exhorting others are all non-negotiables in order for you to grow in your walk with the Lord.
People who really struggle with consistency and deepness or intimacy in their walk with the Lord are the ones who constantly place everything ahead of Him. Spiritually mature Christians do not allow the disciplines of Christian life to take a backseat.
#6. You maintain a child-like sense of awe and admiration of God.
Yep. Childlike faith. Does it mean you have to be immature? Certainly not. Rather it means that you should have the same awe and admiration of God that a young child would.
As grownups, we have a tendency to lose our childlike sense of wonder towards the world and our surroundings.
When a young child sees a big red fire truck, he stares up at it almost dumbstruck in awe and amazement of the marvellous machine. For a grownup, it’s like “nup nothing new…been there, done that”. For a child it’s that simple wonder and appreciation of everything. Everything excites him. He’s innocent in the way he thinks. He has an appreciation for life. He takes risks. He doesn’t put up walls based on the skin colour of another person. He laughs and everything about life is fun to him.
Mark 18:2-4 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Mature Christians have a childlike nature in the sense that they do not become easily bored, they appreciate the gift of life and stand in constant awe of God’s character and creation.
#7. You give glory to God for all that He does and is doing in your life
In and of ourselves we are nothing. Everything that we ever accomplish in our lives is only by the grace and power of God. We have to give Him credit for everything, for He is worthy!
#8. You accept exhortation and correction from other believers meekly
Accepting correction from others is something that doesn’t come naturally however we must understand that we may not be right on many things so we should always be ready to accept exhortation and correction from other believers in a meek manner. However I would caution you to test everything in light of Scripture for misguidance and false teaching may be disguised as “exhortation” or “correction”.
#9. You listen to those who have a different viewpoint all the while remaining polite and principled yet not willing to budge on your Christian beliefs and values
There will always be those who disagree and see things differently and sadly in many cases you will never reach a conclusion but you can reach that place where you agree to disagree. Be polite, be principled and if the argument is not going anywhere, be the first to end it. You might end up being called a “heretic” or a “bigot” for not believing what they want you to believe but it really doesn’t matter.
#10. You understand that living for Christ means everyday
Christianity is not something that you do at church on a Sunday or on a Wednesday night. It is more than that. Living for Christ is everyday 24/7/365. There is no on/off switch. You don’t go to church and “do the Jesus thing” and then go home and act like a totally different person. The Christian faith just doesn’t work that way.
#11. You live out true agape love in your life and your heart grieves for the things that God grieves about
There is so much injustice, hatred, violence and utter depravity in our world today. Our hearts should be grieving for those who are mistreated, hurt and killed. One example is the unborn. Every year 100,000 babies are cold-bloodedly murdered in the womb each year. Very few Christians are taking a stand and fighting against this gross injustice.
That is one example of many. We could talk about the persecuted church, the homeless, the depressed and suicidal, the individuals caught up in the jaws of false cults and religion and those who are hurt even by people who profess to be Christians yet act like demons.
As Christians, everything we do should be done with an outlook of love… with a heart of compassion and justice. Love all of humanity but obviously stand up against the things that God hates.
God doesn’t want you to be silent. Being silent means you are part of the evil. As an ambassador, it is your duty to intervene on the behalf of those who are mistreated and marginalised.
Mature Christians will stand up and fight for what is right even if it means that it will cost them something.
#12. You attempt to have balance in your life
Balance is something that is so lacking amongst Christians today but it is something that we so need to have in our lives. We need an equal amount of love in our lives as well as words of uncompromising truth. We need an equal amount of ensuring we are right with God as well as reaching this lost and dying world. We need an equal amount of hope giving words as we do words filled with the anger and righteousness of God on unrepentant sinners. We need an equal amount of orthodoxy (correct conduct) as we do orthopraxy (correct belief). We all need to pray for balance to be more evident in our lives.