Longevity and maturity aren’t necessarily the same thing – just because you’ve been around for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you are mature. Spiritual maturity cannot simply be measured by time and age. We are all personally responsible for how we mature, and in order to become a person who is both seasoned and happy irrespective of age, we must steer clear of the following entrapments:
- Taking Yourself Far Too Seriously
While there are circumstances and situations when we need to be serious, it’s a different matter when we constantly take ourselves too seriously. Don’t take yourself too seriously – lighten up! Stay spontaneous as you walk through life. As you age and grow older, don’t lose your childlike faith and wonder for all of God’s amazing plans and promises.
- Solely Relying on Experience
As you mature, you also gain experience. Experience is great, but it also teaches you what you can and can’t do and isn’t always something to fully rely on. Living solely by experience will keep you contained within those limits and lead you to believe that you can never move beyond them. Don’t put all your faith in experience.
- You Can’t be Taught
One of the most important aspects of growth and maturity is to remain teachable. When my kids grew older and started to voice their opinions, it helped me make better decisions. Your children can teach you a lot if you’ll listen to them. A teachable spirit is a spirit of humility
- You’ve Heard it all Before
The Gospel doesn’t grow old. God’s Word is life to us, “our daily bread”. Don’t tolerate a spirit of elitism; stay humble and in love with God’s Word, valuing every morsel every time you partake.
- You’ve Graduated from Service
Christianity is a life of servanthood. Of course, life has seasons of change, but never lose sight of the power of serving or your ability to bring something of value to the table. Without exception, everyone has something to offer. Service is a reward and an honour, not a sentence we serve. I love our church because as I look around at any given service or Conference, it’s evident that multiple generations have a revelation of servanthood, unity and working together to build God’s house.
- You’re Entitled
Entitlement is ugly in any form. What we do is an enormous honour and is part of the blessing and reward of our faith. We’re not doing God any favours when we serve, neither is seniority synonymous with entitlement. No matter where you are along the journey, remember every day completely depends on the faithfulness, grace and blessing of God.
- You’ve Seen it all Before
1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” There is always more with God; you can never reach your limit in Him. To think you’ve seen it all will keep you small and living well below your potential.
- You Become Condescending
To write off a person based on their age is foolishness. For example, thinking an older person has nothing to offer – the reality is they have the benefit of years, experience and perspective that is valuable in many ways. Likewise, young people have fresh eyes and a youthful spirit that is necessary. Together we are better.
- Your Part is not Needed Anymore
If you feel like you’ve been replaced, then you’ve stopped growing. When someone else does what you used to, that isn’t being replaced but being released into what God has next. With a right spirit, you won’t feel replaced because you’re always moving upward on your journey with the Lord and keeping your vision alive.
- The Futility of Regret
The devil will ride your regrets for all they’re worth if you allow him. Everyone makes mistakes and must come to terms with the things they cannot change. If we had our lives to live over, we’d all do many things differently, but that’s a futile hope. Do everything you can to make up for lost time or bring healing and change to those situations but stop beating yourself up about things you can’t change. We all need the forgiveness of our Saviour so leave your regrets at the foot of the cross.
Life is a journey not a sprint, so take personal responsibility for how you mature along the way. Keep trusting God. Steer clear of these entrapments. Stay full of faith. The best is yet to come!
“True patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.”
James 1:4 (VOICE)