Wanted: Mature (not Gifted) Christians

It’s taken me awhile to figure this out.  I can easily get star struck at the tone of one’s voice, the power in which they minister to people, the incredibly cool filters they use on Instagram as they travel around the world on missions trips.

And I used to be so disappointed when these famous ones fell from their pedestals.  I made a common mistake.  I confused giftedness for maturity.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Some very gifted Christians are also very mature.  But others are not.

You see, the gifts are just that: gifts.  The Bible says that God gives them out freely and He won’t take them back.  That’s why you see people all over the globe with huge talents yet not acknowledging the One who gave them their gifts in the first place.  But God does not remove them.  They are gifts.

Gifts are not a mark of maturity.  We all have gifts from God, talents and spiritual gifts that He’s given to us.  But we are not all mature.

We all have gifts, but we are not all mature. #famousChristians Click To Tweet

Maturity takes time.  You can’t rush the growth process.  Just like a farmer doesn’t plant a seed and expect to harvest it the next day.  Maturity is the day-in and day-out process of developing one’s character to be more Christlike.  There’s no instant download for it on Amazon, and there’s no Instagram filter to make it appear as though you have it.

Character. No Amazon download to get it or Instagram filter to cover-up what's not there.… Click To Tweet

It’s often painful and almost always unglamorous.  It’s showing up and being faithful when you could easily let it slide.  It’s choosing gentleness when harshness comes more naturally.  It’s forgiving that guy on the road who cut you off and could have caused a crash.  It’s assuming the best about another person in your thoughts, even though no one else will know the choices that you make.  In short, it’s integrity.

Because to God, nothing else matters.  The thirteenth chapter of first Corinthians makes it pretty clear what God’s priorities are (and what ours should be too).  You can be super gifted, sound really amazing, be able to hear instant messages from God, talk with angels, have visions and dreams of what is to come, heal millions of people, sell everything you have and give it all to others less fortunate than you.  But if you don’t have love…

None of it matters.  NONE.

Not one well-spoken verse.  Not one perfectly-timed revelation.  Not one doodle in your Bible journal.  Not one miracle you performed.  None.

Sure, those are all awesome events in themselves, and if done in a spirit of love, are super pleasing to God.  But WITHOUT love, they are nothing.  You just sound like nails on a chalkboard.  (I’m preaching to myself here too.)

Love is what matters.  So, want to know how mature someone is in Jesus?  Look at the way he/she loves.  How does she love those from whom she can gain nothing?  How does he treat those whom society would deem “beneath” him?  Those that make her mad?  That treat her poorly?  That unfairly label the side she’s on and accuse her political party of all kinds of nasty?

You’ll know a tree by it’s fruit.  Not necessarily by the shape or stature, but by the fruit.  People who are growing in the Lord are learning to be better lovers.  None of us are perfect, but we are growing if we are in God.

I’m more careful nowadays about who I follow and who I admire.  Who I let take the seats of deep respect and honor in my heart.  It’s not that I go around suspiciously waiting for every gifted person to mess up, but I’m not going to lose my faith over it if they do.  Maturity looks a lot different than giftedness.  Maturity is likely to go unnoticed at first, but in the end, it’s what you can build a life on.

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1 Comment

  • Erik Grangaard August 23, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Good words Brooke! At 69 I am still lacking nin maturity. Erik

    Reply

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