“Maturity: Be able to stick with a job until it is finished. Be able to bear an injustice without having to get even. Be able to carry money without spending it. Do your duty without being supervised.”Ann Landers
I love this definition of maturity from Mrs. Landers. Her actual name was Eppie Lederer, but she used her pen name for her famous column writing “Ask Ann.” She was also the identical twin sister of Pauline Philips, aka Abigail Van Buren, who wrote the great “Dear Abby” columns. My favorite quote from Ann is “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Its a good reminder for us dog folks.
But back to the main point here. Her definition fits so well with what we have seen in the book of James when it comes to spiritual maturity – “And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4.
- Endurance – stick with the job until it is finished. Remember, we never retire from following Jesus.
- Complete – be so wholesome that injustice rolls off your back and forgiveness wins the day.
- Lacking nothing – be so content and wise that “things” never get in the way of pursuing Christ.
And finally on a pastoral note, like Mrs. Landers says, do your Christian duty without having to be coddled. The pastor’s role is to “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry…to maturity” according to Ephesians 4:12. True maturity in the life of the believer is reflected by his ability and willingness to evangelize and disciple others without being prodded to do so. As we come to the end of James, let us strive for maturity, knowing that Christ is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
– Pastor DJ