June/July 2013 - Vol. 68


.Growing Up in Maturity 
by Tom Caballes

This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge
about God's Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ,
who is the standard.  Ephesians 4:13
Probably all of us have experienced “growing pains.” But I remember too, when I was younger, my parents and other people tell me to “grow up.” What they are meaning is for me to act my age, and not be childish. Because of the ‘flesh,’ it is more ‘natural,’ convenient and easier to be immature and irresponsible. In the Christian life, God desires us to “grow up” as well and not be childish in our behaviour. Our goal is to be like Christ in our character. In our Christian walk, it is much easier to be childish too – lazy, irresponsible and selfish. Do people around us – families, friends, brothers and sisters – see Jesus in us?

So How Do We Grow Up to Become More Christ-Like?

  1. We need to desire to grow in maturity. We need to take stock of where we are in different facets of our lives and see where there are discrepancies in our attitudes [selfishness, pride, anger, etc.] and behaviour to that of what we are supposed to be.
  2. Face challenges and difficulties in a mature way. Ordeals can make us grow – but only if we have the right perspective about it. It can also bring us down if we allow it to do so by acting in an immature way. We need to identify the areas where we can grow as we face those trials in life. We can ask: what is the loving thing to do?
  3. As we face different situations in life, we can ask: what is the mature way of responding or reacting to the situation? How would Jesus react? We can also try to see the opposite – the immature way of reacting – and decide not to do it. We need to decide to do the right thing.
  4. We need to let go of childish and immature way of behaving and reacting. If we see people doing well and prospering, we need to be happy for them and avoid that question – what about me? When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. [1 Corinthians 13:11]
  5. We need to learn habits that lead to Christian maturity. How? By immersing ourselves in daily prayer and with God’s Word; by building relationships with people who are also becoming like Jesus; and by surrendering our childish or ‘adolescent,’ selfish hearts and minds to God.
  6. Lastly, we need to be patient with ourselves. The goal of being Christ-like will take a lifetime. Little by little, everyday…until people can see Jesus in us.
Other Scripture References
  1. Endure until your testing is over. Then you will be mature and complete, and you won't need anything. [James 1:4]
  2. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. [Colossians 1:28]
  3. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ… [Ephesians 4:15]
  4. Other Scripture references: Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10; 1 Cor 14:20.
For Personal Reflection and Group Sharing:
  1. In my walk with God, do I try to grow up to be more like Him every day?
  2. Where and when do I tend to act childishly? Where are my weak points? How to I grow and overcome them? Who can help me overcome them?

Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


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