Maturity in Christ…DEFINE IT PLEASE…
Pondering the whole Discipleship thing, reading a couple of books, and a comment in a book led me down this thought path…what is a mature Christian, how do you measure this, how do you define it, when is some one mature..?
There are hundreds of ideas and bible passages that you could use, but how do you really define mature and when is a person mature enough for ministry..?
Here’s a thought, what if “Mature enough for Ministry” was a MYTH, or at least was a myth the way we see it and how we use it…?
Clearly the bible talks about maturity, not being a novice, being grounded, having foundations in your life, going on to maturity…but it is pretty tricky to define.
A thought I had (which is a bit negative) was this…do we confuse maturity with our own personal judgment of some one whom we see as immature, and then because we see them as immature, we declare that they either “are or are not” ready for ministry, and is that all “our opinion”. I am ready, but you are not, you still have some stuff to sort out, a few issues to deal with…
I realized that we have never seen maturity this way. John 14:12 says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also: and greater works…”. For Jesus, the fact that you believe is enough for you to be great. Just believing, is what makes you ready for ministry. In this passage, it’s the only qualification mentioned to do exactly what Jesus did and more.
Maturity was never mentioned as a qualification and the idea was never used to limit or control anyone, which is what I think we sometimes do.
Jesus never told anyone that they weren’t ready. Of course people still had to grow and develop (this never really stops), but this happened on the run, as they were moving, as they were ministering.
What if everyone was ready when they believed (clearly not negating the need for further growth or development, which should be ongoing), but what if the starting point was when a person accepted Christ, came to faith.
The women at the well must of been ready after only one short encounter with Jesus, she led hundreds to Him. (John 4)
The demonised man at the lake of the Gadareness (Mark 5:19), seemed also to be declared to be ready after one significant encounter with Jesus.
I want to make sure that in my heart I am not putting obstacles in front of people, giving them tasks or hurdles that they need to clear before “they can”.
Christian Maturity is not mine to define, it’s not my standard to set over another. I can set it for myself, but not for anyone else.
We can grow forever in our understanding of Jesus, but do we ever grow in how much of Him, His Spirit, there is inside of us…? Does He ever give Himself in only portions…? Colossians 1:27…