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Spiritual Maturity: 5 Signs You DON’T Have It

The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord  was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

So what did God do? He started again. What followed was an ark and a rainbow.

And ultimately God’s decision on his heartbreak was addressed in Jesus who came—as our favorite but often totally-missed-the-point verse tells us, God so loves the world and gave himself up for it not to condemn it but to save it.

So why do so many Christians behave like God hated the world? Because the world is corrupt and sinful, is the answer we hear back. But the truth of the matter, Christian, is that you are corrupt and you sin. But instead, we rail against the world’s sins as though it shouldn’t be sinning while cutting ourselves tons of slack on our moral failures.

What would happen if we started talking about church sins like gossip, gluttony, division and faction with the same conviction we use to talk about sexual sin?

wrote about that in more detail here. (Perry Noble also wrote an great blog about why we turn a blind eye to a church sin like obesity but rail on about homosexuality.)

So…what if the church started to take its own sin more seriously than we take the world’s sin? I think that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Finally, if you’re still not convinced, study Jesus. You will discover he extended invitations to notorious sinners and outsiders, and reserved his harshest words for the religious people of his day.

We simply have it backwards. If God so loved the world, who decided we shouldn’t?

And if you were trying to win people to open their lives to a loving God, why do you think leading with judgment is a great strategy? Very few people get judged into life change. Many get loved into it.

5. Telling People You’re Mature

This one mystifies me.

I’ve had more than a few people pull me aside over the years and ask, “So what do you do for spiritually mature people like me?”

Stand back while people like you part the Red Sea, I guess.

Telling people you’re mature is like telling people you’re wise…it’s kind of proof you’re not. The most mature people, in my view, also tend to be the most humble. If you’re strutting your maturity, it’s pretty clear you’ve got some growing to do.

What Do You Think?

I hope you can hear that this is borne not just out of frustration, but also out of love for God, for the church and for the world.

I’d love to see the conversation about spiritual maturity become healthier. As I’ve shared here, I think the church today is getting discipleship wrong. I’ve also argued we need a different kind of maturity in the church.

What have you seen?

What are some false markers of maturity?

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.