What Does Mature Mean?
For the context of this discussion, we will turn to the book of Philippians, specifically focusing on Phil. 3:15 – 4:3. The questions I will ask will all be taken from this portion of Scripture. Let’s start by looking at the first verse.
“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you” (Philippians 3:15).
The word for mature here means complete in all its parts, full grown, of full age, or fully developed. The reference here is connected to the development of your Christian character. Looking at this verse closer leads to the first question.
1. Do You Have the Right Perspective in Life?
Spiritual maturity is about having the right perspective in life, and the way you think is evidence of your maturity in Christ. Your outlook regarding the situations in life you face speak volumes as to whether you are approaching them from a place of maturity or immaturity.
However, it is not just about looking at life situations with the right mindset. You must also view yourself from the right perspective. This requires you to not just think about what you do, but who you are in Christ. Too often in life we have the tendency to define ourselves by what we do. It is very common to ask someone, especially when you first meet them, “What do you do for a living?” While this is a conversation starter, sometimes we can’t get past defining ourselves in this fashion.
If you are going to have a mature perspective, you need to define yourself not simply by what you do, because that can change. You need to define yourself by who you are in Christ, because that doesn’t change. This doesn’t mean you have achieved all you are in Christ, but it does mean you are striving toward it. The more you begin to see yourself and define yourself the way God sees you, the more maturity you are developing.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Jupiterimages