How do you know when you become spiritually mature? When you do the rights things? When you think the right thoughts? When you feel the right feelings? When you're able to say deeply spiritual things like "Hallelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!" at odd hours of the day?
I hope not. But, to be honest, I'm not really sure.
As much as I hate to admit it, I just don't know. Maybe that's because I'm not spiritually mature enough to realize it. Or maybe it's just that spiritual maturity is one of those things that can't be measured by numbers and then filed away in a metal cabinet. Maybe the first step toward spiritual maturity is recognizing just how immature we are.
God has quite a bit to say about spiritual maturity in Psalm 15. Who can live with God in His house? The God-inspired songwriter asks. Those who have grown up in their faith-the spiritually mature-he might answer. Then he gives us a short list to describe the spiritually mature.
... those who are innocent and who do what is right
... do not tell lies about others
... do no wrong to their neighbors and do not gossip
... do not respect hateful people but honor those who honor the Lord
... keep their promises
... even when it hurts ...
(Psalm 15: 2-4, New Century Version)
Check that list again. It scares me when I read it, because I can see that I still have a long way to go. And then it hits me. Maybe that's what God's trying to say with the list of humanly impossible deeds-that I can't do it. Not by myself anyway. That to become spiritually mature, I'll need to trust Him to get me there.
Maybe that's it after all. I'm hoping so. It's the only shot I've got.