So, to be clear, how exactly does this issue surface in conversation?
In leadership circles, the dialogue often starts with a question such as, “What are you doing to disciple your people?” (emphasis on disciple, often said with a deeper voice than normal) or a dismissive statement like, “So you’re attracting people, but then what?”
And it’s almost always said condescendingly, as though some people own the maturity franchise and enjoy watching other fellow-Christ followers squirm while they try to come up with answers that will only show how immature they really are.
I’ve been on the receiving end of that conversation many many times, because, well, our church reaches a lot of people who ordinarily don’t show up at church.
5 Negative Signs of Spiritual Maturity
Before I outline the list, please know I’m not claiming to be “mature.” I’m not even claiming I understand the issue entirely. I’m just saying there’s something broken in our dialogue and in our characterization of spiritual maturity.
As for me personally, I would hope I’m maturing, but have I arrived? Not a chance.
Discipleship is an organic, life-long process. It has something to do with what the ancients called “sanctification.” The process of becoming more and more holy, a term, which stripped from its strangeness, simply means to be “set apart.” Basically, it means you’re different than you were. And that process continues until you die. I’ve outlined a few of the markers of more authentic spiritual maturity in this post, and again here.
In the meantime, if you want to keep growing, here are five signs that pass for spiritual maturity in our culture that probably show you lack it.
1. Pride in How Much Bible You Know
Since when was it a good thing to be proud of how much Bible you know, and to look down on people who don’t know?
As Paul points out, knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Clearly he knew what he was talking about.
Some Christians strut their biblical knowledge like it is an accomplishment. That’s so wrong.
I won my share of sword drills (remember those?) when I was a kid, and I take time to read and study the Scriptures pretty much every day, but as far as I can tell, I’m supposed to use that knowledge to function as a bridge to people, not as a barricade showing everyone else how righteous I am. Because, incidentally, last time I checked I wasn’t that righteous.