Paul frequently employs the word teleios (which can be interpreted as spiritual maturity) when discussing spiritual maturity “Perfect,” “Complete,” or “Maturity”). Paul longs for, in Ephesians 4:13, “attain to the oneness of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature person, to the full stature of Christ.” Spiritual maturity, on the other hand, is not only an individual aim in the letter to the Ephesians, but a goal for the entire body of Christ. In his book Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, Stephen Rankin defines “a spiritually mature Christian whose entire personality, including dispositions, words, and deeds, resembles that of Jesus Christ.” Paul exhorts the Ephesus church in Ephesians 5:1-2 to “As beloved children, imitate God and walk in love, just as Christ loved and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” As they strive to mimic God and live out Christ's love, all Christians should strive for spiritual growth.
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I've been the pastor of the Mooreville United Methodist Charge, a combination of three tiny, rural churches in Lee County, Mississippi, since June of 2016. The congregations are largely elderly folks, while two of the churches include a few young families. The ethnic makeup is Caucasian, which closely resembles Mooreville's community. The churches share a pastor and a few ministries, such as the children and youth program and the United Methodist Women.
What does it mean to be spiritually matured?
Whether we want to or not, we all mature physically. Spiritual maturity, on the other hand, is not assured. While the phrase “spiritual maturity” is most commonly associated with Christianity, the ideas of spiritual maturity may be found in all religious and wisdom traditions. The following are some examples of spiritual maturity:
The progressive development of healthy and life-giving relationships with oneself, others, and the environment.
Most of us want to learn how to relate to ourselves and others in healthy ways so that we can all feel connected, at peace, and happy for a long time. Spiritual maturity is a process that takes time. In order to reap the benefits, it takes intention, time, and work.
Do you have any doubts about what it takes to be spiritually mature? Here are a few indicators that you're on the correct track.
How do you grow to spiritual maturity?
Wife, author, boss, friend, daughter, teacher, professional coffee drinker, and now mama are just a few of the hats I wear. For over two years, I've been giggling at this parenthood thing. I've had twenty months of the most life-altering, heart-wrenching, joy-filled, bone-weary job I've ever had… and I've loved every minute of it.
During my pregnancy, I distinctly recall being terrified of the enormous responsibility that would soon be placed in my hands. I was terrified at the prospect of raising a child without completely ruining her. “I feel more capable of being air-dropped into Afghanistan and finding my way out in the middle of a Taliban fire war than I do of parenting a child,” I told a friend.
God does not wait for us to be ready to stretch us before he stretches us. Whether I was prepared or not, my full-fledged education into the realm of parenthood began in November of 2016. I've discovered that He equips us even while we're in the thick of a mess. Now that I'm well into motherhood, I've learned that it's not something you can learn from a book; it's a hands-on, learn-as-you-go, trial-and-error process.
I'll be honest, every three months when we take Sydney to her pediatrician for her visit, I expect her to hand me a lollypop and a sticker because…
I'm joking, but it's true. For all the restless nights and countless prayers imploring Jesus to take the wheel, the infant gets shots, and we get nothing.
The best part about going to the pediatrician every three months is understanding what developmental milestones Sydney should hit at each stage. My doctor even gives me a checklist of things to look for and how to deal with different situations.
The anticipation of a youngster is that he or she will grow. Over the course of a few months, newborns grow from defenseless 8-pound infants to 28-pound toddlers intent on destroying everything in their path. I can't help but think about spiritual maturity as I've watched my little girl grow from infancy to the great adventure of toddlerhood. Our Heavenly Father rejoices as we grow and mature in our faith, just as a good parent rejoices when their kid develops new talents.
Spiritual maturity is the expected, not the exception, for all Christians, according to the Bible.
We are “born again” into God's family and then begin to mature as God's children, just as a newborn is born and then begins to grow. Despite the fact that this is the expectation, many Christians become stuck and stagnate in their faith.
The Apostle Peter describes seven “spiritual milestones” that should increase in our life if we are truly children of God in 2 Peter chapter 1. These anniversaries aren't meant to be a legalistic checklist on which we attempt to improve. These characteristics, on the other hand, show that a person is spiritually maturing.
Through our awareness of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, his divine power has given us everything we need for a holy life. He has given us his most significant and precious promises through them, so that you may share in the divine nature while avoiding the pollution in the world caused by sinful impulses.
Make every effort to add goodness to your faith, and goodness to knowledge, and knowledge to self-control, and self-control to perseverance, and perseverance to godliness, and godliness to mutual affection, and mutual affection to love. Because if you increase your possession of these traits, you will be less ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever does not have them, on the other hand, is nearsighted and shortsighted, forgetting that their past offenses have been forgiven.
Make every attempt, dear brothers and sisters, to affirm your calling and election. Because if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will be warmly welcomed into our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's eternal kingdom.
Born-again believers should evolve spiritually beyond their first conversion, much as my daughter Sydney no longer acts like an infant but has progressed to a healthy and busy toddler. The traits stated in 2 Peter as evidence of this progress include “faith, kindness, knowledge, self-control, holiness, and love.” Surprisingly, I've encountered teenagers who are spiritually more developed than some of the older adults I've met. Spiritual maturity has nothing to do with our age; it is entirely about our ability to grow in our relationship with God. If you've read this far, I'm guessing you're someone who wants to grow in her faith. Here are five spiritual growth keys that I'm working on in my own life:
1. The WordIn 1 Peter, we're instructed that drinking the “pure milk of God's word” helps us develop in faith. The analogy is clear, and one that I've personally observed. Milk is given to infants, and the consequence is a remarkable metamorphosis! Simply drinking milk causes those tiny fingers and toes, legs and limbs to expand, stretch, and develop! It's no accident that the Bible refers to itself as “pure milk” for spiritual development. A believer must feed herself the Word of God on a regular basis in order to progress in her faith. Going to church or Bible study once a week is insufficient. That would be the same of eating a meal on Sunday and then going hungry for the rest of the week. If we want to grow and deepen in our faith, we must feed ourselves the Word of God on a daily basis.
2. Christ-centered Community I can attest from personal experience that nothing has helped me grow spiritually more than being around by other Christ-followers who love Jesus, fear God, and want to live for His glory. We encourage accountability, we are challenged to know God better, and we have relationships with others who will pray for us when we face hardships or temptations when we surround ourselves with a Christ-centered community. Indeed, we are stronger when we work together.
3. Walk in the Spirit – Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as our “Assistant.”
He is the one who walks alongside us and supports us when we are weak. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes us from the inside out so that we might act, think, and love as Jesus did. God's Spirit develops us and produces Christ-like attributes in us as we stay in step with Him. We must continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct our steps, and to conform us to Christ's image.
4. Surrender – The only way to win in the Kingdom of God is to surrender. We can only begin to live the abundant life Jesus promised when we yield to God's will and walk in His ways. We begin to manifest the fruit of the Spirit when we surrender our will to God's will. Surrendering to God is what obedience entails. We mature and grow as a result of these surrendering moments. “Physical maturity is connected to time,” argues John Bevere. “Obedience is a prerequisite for spiritual maturation.”
5. Humility – Pride is the greatest significant impediment to spiritual progress. Pride deceives us into believing that we are doing fine. Instead of gazing at Jesus' perfection, pride compares itself to someone else. Our pride makes us blind to our flaws. Humility, on the other hand, is essential for maturity because it keeps us living in daily desperation for Jesus and clinging to Him for everything. “Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing,” the mature person knows.
As a mother, I'm inclined to clutch my child and hope she'd never grow up. Then I remember all of the amazing things Jesus has planned for her, and I realize that, as much as I enjoy the cuddles and sweetness that come with this age, I want her to blossom into a mature lady who loves Jesus and lives for His glory.
Friends, we are in the same boat. As we grow in our faith, the whole of heaven is rooting for us. As we grow from infants to great women of God capable of leading, teaching, and shepherding others, God, our Heavenly Father, watches over us and loves us.
How do you know if you are spiritually mature?
Love isn't something we just offer to other people. Healthy self-love is also a spiritually evolved person's practice.
It implies accepting that having boundaries and limits are acceptable; that it is acceptable to refuse to be treated badly or walked on; and that it is acceptable to prioritize your needs over the wishes and desires of others.
What are the benefits of spiritual maturity?
Spiritual development improves our ability to deal with life's ups and downs and recover from adversity. It's all too easy to judge and criticize others, but as we grow spiritually, we discover how much healthier it is to build compassion and empathy for others.
What spirituality means?
Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature. True spirituality necessitates the opening of one's heart.
What is spiritual growth?
Spiritual development entails letting go of false and unreal conceptions, thoughts, beliefs, and ideas in order to become more conscious and aware of our inner selves.
This method reveals the inner spirit that has always existed but has been veiled beneath the ego-personality.
Spiritual development is the process of inner awakening, of rising above ordinary, everyday living and of awakening to Universal truths. It entails going beyond the mind and ego to discover who you truly are.
How do you achieve spiritual growth?
When trying to put all eight aspects of wellness together, the spiritual aspect of wellness can be the most individualized piece of the puzzle. People, on the whole, like to live lives that have meaning and purpose. When these objectives are attained, it brings peace into one's life and the lives of those around them.
So, what are some things you may do to increase your spiritual well-being? It's best to experiment with several ways to see what works best for you. Spiritual wellbeing can be reached in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually, because it involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose.
1. Examine your spiritual foundation. You are merely asking yourself questions about who you are and what you mean when you explore your spiritual essence. Consider the following question: “Who am I?” What is the point of my existence? What am I most passionate about? These questions will lead you down a path where you will think more deeply about yourself and recognize aspects of yourself that will assist you in achieving fulfillment.
2. Search for hidden meanings. Looking for deeper meanings and examining patterns in your life will help you realize that you have power over your future. Knowing this can help you live a happier and healthier life.
3. Get it off your chest. It will be easier to retain a concentrated mind if you express what is on your mind. You may feel befuddled and unable to make sense of your feelings after a long day or an important event. You may be able to think more clearly and move forward if you write down your thoughts.
4. Give yoga a shot. Yoga is a physical discipline that can help you achieve spiritual wellness by eliminating mental and physical stress. Yoga is taught at all levels and can help relieve anxiety, sadness, weariness, and sleeplessness as well as reducing stress, strengthen the immune system, and lower blood pressure.
5. Take a trip. Yes, it is correct! Taking time for yourself to travel to a familiar location or to a new location can do wonders for your mental health. You will have a greater connection with yourself when your mind is able to block out distractions and assist you in reflecting and resting. This allows you to eliminate stressors and retrain your mind to focus on total wellness. Exercising, visiting with a counselor or advisor, meditation, or taking a temporary vow of silence are all activities that can be done while on a trip.
6. Keep an optimistic attitude. You will find yourself thinking differently and shifting your mind to a happy, healthy place once you begin to view things in your life in a good light. You'll discover that you're more comfortable when you eliminate negativity and re-frame how you think about specific things and situations.
7. Set aside some time to meditate. While managing your time and everyday tasks can be difficult, it is critical to make time for yourself. Take five to ten minutes each day to meditate, whether it's first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bedtime. By incorporating meditation and relaxation into your daily routine, you will be able to clear your mind and strengthen your connection to your spiritual well-being.
How do you recognize a spiritual person?
The first evidence of a spiritual person is their lack of fear. When you have a fear or a chronic worry, that fear takes over your life and you are unable to be in the present moment. Fear of public speaking, fear of heights, and fear of bugs are the three most common fears among Americans. Many people, however, are terrified of death, rejection, loneliness, failure, illness, or making poor judgments. Spiritual people understand how to yield to forces beyond their control. In this way, they are similar to children in that they know how to ignore their minds and live fearlessly.