I wasn’t able to catch up why the series is called this way but I guess Street Level meaning the practicalities of the level of faith. Our Senior Pastor, Earl Wetter, gives us five marks of a mature person based on the book of James. Let’s see how it goes and as we go through these characteristics of a mature person, let’s self-reflect on what level of maturity do we have based on the greatest Book of all time. Ready?
It’s not just knowing about the Truth. It’s living it out. -Ptr. Earl Wetter
God’s will for every person is personal growth and maturity. As we look at the book of James, maturity is defined as the following:
- It’s not about age.
- It’s not about appearance.
- It’s not about achievements.
- It’s not about academics.
Now, what defines maturity?
God says maturity is determined by ATTITUDE. It is about your CHARACTER.
Character is what you are in the dark when no one is looking.
God wants us to have a Christ-like attitude. Now what are the marks of maturity? Will we be able to say that we’re mature based on these? Let’s see.
The Five Marks of Maturity.
1. A mature person is positive under pressure.
2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. -James 1:2-4 [NLT]
A more personal question here is: How do you react when problems arise?
First chapter of James tackles about how we ought to behave when our struggles hit our bones. Will we be dismayed? Of course! After all we’re all emotional beings but how to we endure the pain? Are we taking it positively or are we having pity parties?
2. A mature person is sensitive to people.
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? -James 2:14-16 [NLT]
A more personal question here is: How do treat other people?
During Jesus’ ministry way back 2000 years ago, He was sensitive to His people. Go ahead read the first four books of the New Testament.
It’s all about L–O–V–E. It’s all about C–O–M–P–A–S–S–I–O–N. Show love in a practical way.
Christianity is a life. It’s not a religion.
3. A mature person has mastered his/her mouth.
2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. -James 3:2 [NLT]
The personal question here is: Can you manage your tongue?
Foul words, trash talking, etc. are even categorized as abusive language.
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. -Ephesians 4:29
Our tongues can either destroy or speak life to others. What do you choose? Will you choose to gossip and talk trash? Or will you choose to encourage other people genuinely?
4. A mature person is a peacemaker, not a troublemaker.
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?
Conflicts usually stem out from two sources: Selfishness and Judgementalism.
Problems are ego- and pride-driven. Judgemental people point out the wrongs of others.
Now, are you are peacemaker or a troublemaker?
5. A mature person is patient and prayerful.
7 Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. 8 You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. -James 5:7-8
These verse tells us to be like farmers. A farmer is definitely an example of patience. They have vision on their harvest time yet they wait and wait and wait. They know that it will come [harvest] but they have to wait.
A more personal question here is: How long can you wait for an answer without giving up?
There are no overnight props. Our struggles in life won’t end overnight. We need to patiently wait and pray.
Now, how do you rate your maturity?
My takeaway here is that it’s our choice to grow and mature. No one else could decide but ourselves. It took me years before saying yes to growth and maturity aligned in God’s Word. I wanted to enjoy life without God but it didn’t quite turned out to be what I really wanted. Instead, I gave my life to Jesus, said yes to growth and maturity. It was simple yet isn’t easy BUT totally worth it. Rating my maturity is way too low but by God’s grace I am able to endure things. How great God is. He makes things possible even when I see things too differently than His.
MATURITY. Ha! Big word, eh?