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EHS: Becoming an Emotionally Mature Christian 

03-06-2018

Introduction…

The difference between an infant and a toddler is astounding. The difference between a toddler and a young adult is similarly astounding! We don’t expect infants to behave like toddlers. Nor do we expect toddlers to behave like young adults. We just don’t expect that of them!

But sometimes toddlers behave like infants. They have meltdowns and scream and cry. Similarly, young adults have been known to behave like toddlers at times. But what if your toddler always acted like an infant? What if your young adult never developed beyond the abilities of a toddler? What about adults who always act like children? We would know something is wrong! We would be terribly concerned. We wouldn’t be satisfied with, “Oh, they’ve been born. That’s all that matters! They’re alive!” No, we’d be concerned as to why they were not developing and maturing!

And yet, when it comes to our spirituality, how often do we see Christians who should be mature, acting like spiritual toddlers or infants? How often do we, ourselves, throw spiritual temper tantrums (or real ones)?

Frankly, one of the reasons that the church in the West has lost so much ground over the last century is due, in part, to Christians who act like spiritual infants and toddlers. The church, the body of believers, has lost credibility because too many Christians who’ve been Christians a long time, are not maturing and developing spiritually. But, contrary to what our response would be to adults who didn’t mature developmentally, Christians often throw up their hands and say, “Well, they’re born again. That’s all that matters! They have new life!” We’re not concerned as to why they are not developing and maturing emotionally and spiritually.

In fact, when confronted with such immature Christians, we often cover for them! We ignore their immature activities, we appease them, we try to sweep it under the carpet. And in the end, not only is the individual never helped to grow spiritually, but the church community as a whole suffers.

This should not be so! Jesus’ doesn’t want us to remain spiritual infants. He wants us to grow and mature. The “theological” word for this is sanctification. What it means is being transformed by the Holy Spirit in our character so that we are more like Jesus. But the Spirit only works with those who are cooperating with him. He will not do violence to our will. So we are often left as spiritual infants because we are not using the tools the Spirit gives us to cooperate with Him to become more like Christ. It’s gotten to the point where we don’t even know we’re supposed to be growing up! We don’t even realize there’s a problem, that most of us are spiritually stunted.

But there’s good news! “Jesus loves you just the way you are, and too much to let you stay that way.” Jesus loves us when we are spiritual infants (actually, he loves us even before that- while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!). Spiritual infants are saved, their future is eternal life at the resurrection.

Jesus loves us too much to let us stay spiritual infants. He wants us to know the Father, so grow in the Fruit of the Spirit, to overcome evil, to love others as we love ourselves. This includes finding healing from our brokenness, overcoming the sin that dwells within our hearts, overcoming the effects of others’ sin upon us, causing wounds and brokenness of another kind. Jesus would have us grow in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Jesus loves the church, but he’s not satisfied with churches filled with anger, gossip, control, backbiting, sexual immorality, greed and the like. Jesus wants us to grow up! He wants us to stop living like spiritual infants and toddlers!

 

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Filetype: MP4 - Size: 113.34MB - Duration: 46:31 m