2. They embrace change.
Change really is the only constant. Emotionally mature Christians aren’t anxious or fearful of this reality. To them, change is neither the enemy nor the secret weapon for success. It just is.
People resist change for two reasons: fear and control. Emotionally mature Christians see through the facades of fear, and they know control of anything is largely an illusion.
So, they prepare for change. They adapt, step into fear and leave the control thing for God.
3. They give without expecting anything in return.
Emotionally mature Christians rise above the tit-for-tat, give-and-take, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” culture where so many are content to live.
They give of themselves without logging their work for future leverage. They remove household duties from their spouse without expecting her to approve the boys’ golf weekend.
When you give expecting in return—whether you state it explicitly or you mentally log it until “an opportune time”—you’re enslaved to the receiver and the receiver’s response. Emotionally mature Christians aren’t enslaved to anyone.
4. They resist immediate gratification.
Emotionally mature Christians don’t eliminate the anxieties and tensions of life. That’s impossible.
They learn, by leaning on the cross, to hold these anxieties without running to a quick fix.
Almost all addictions are the product of our inability to manage our emotions, particularly the uncomfortable ones (stress, anxiety and the like). Having struggled with a porn addiction, I know this to be true. Porn was my release from high stress. When tragic events come, we look for an immediate release. Rather than manage the pain, we often turn to sex, drugs, shopping and alcohol.
Emotionally mature Christians don’t believe in quick fixes. They don’t waste time looking for an immediate release, “get rid of your uncomfortable emotions quick” scheme. These things don’t exist.
So, they wait patiently. They lean into God. They feel stress and anxiety, but they don’t allow these emotions to call the shots. And they trust God will transform the discomfort and pain, as he did on the cross.
5. They’re not perfectionists.
Perfectionism clothes itself in a more desirable virtue, excellence.
Emotionally mature Christians know perfection is impossible and quite toxic to pursue.
Here are a few signs you’re a perfectionist:
• Regardless of what you accomplish, you’re left with a nagging sense of failure.
• You’re impatient with others and rarely celebrate their success.
• You can’t recognize small wins.
• You can’t relax or play.
• You often micro-manage and go behind people to make sure things meet your standard.
Emotionally mature Christians never lose sight of their fallible, limited nature. They celebrate small victories, and they’re OK with mistakes. They work hard, but they also play and rest hard.