I recently saw a sign that asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Our physical age is something that we know because we celebrate birthdays, and we see it on our birth certificates. But, what about our spiritual age? So, let me ask, how old would you be spiritually if you didn’t know how old you are?
How do we measure spiritual age? We have a date and a time that we can go back to and even if you don’t remember the exact date you know when you gave your life to the Lord. But, did we grow at a healthy rate from that time on? For most of us, that answer is no. If there has ever been a time when we felt closer to the Lord than we do right now it may indicate that something is wrong.
We often stunt our spiritual growth by not feeding ourselves on a regular basis. We get in the Word for a while, and then we get off track. We miss a day or two and then it is easy to miss a couple more and before we know it’s been a week. We can also let ourselves get into the habit of going to church because it is a habit instead of expecting a fresh word from God and worshipping him with all of our hearts.
Spiritual maturity doesn’t come in spurts. It is disciplining ourselves to spend time with the Lord in prayer, worship, and Bible study. It is learning to walk in faith through the circumstances of life. When we are spiritually mature, we will respond to others in maturity instead of reacting to others in childish ways. We won’t get our feelings hurt over every little thing, and we will worry less and trust more.
The Bible also warns that those who are not spiritually mature can be led away by false teachers. The Message translation says it this way, “Be on guard, lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Wisdom also comes with maturity. The more we read the Bible, the more we understand about God and how he works. Another way that we can test our maturity level is by looking at how we act when life doesn’t turn out the way we think it should. We are human, and we will still experience grief, disappointment, and hurt, but the test of maturity is what we do with those feelings. As we mature, we will learn to turn those feelings over to God and know that we are in his hands.
The good news is that just as we would do anything to help our children grow, our Heavenly Father wants to help us grow. All we have to do is go to him and let him help us get back to healthy spiritual disciplines. So, maybe the next time someone asks us how old we are spiritually. We can say that we are growing and maturing in the faith.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding; that you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:9-10)
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