Maturing as a Christian helps one show Christ to the world.
As Jesus spoke about the judgment of his children in Matthew 25, He told of those who helped others and those who did not. In speaking of those who had helped others, he said, “Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:34-36). These individuals had matured and realized they were not the most important ones — it was others. James called it “pure religion” (James 1:27).
In showing concern for others, one is built up in the faith as they realize they are following God’s commands. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Galatia that they would “bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do well unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:2, 9-10). All people need to look within themselves and make sure they are truly growing spiritually.
Maturing as a Christian takes continual study of the Scriptures to maintain proper faith. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). With these words, Paul directed Timothy to exercise care both to his soul and the souls of those with whom Timothy worked. Had Timothy not cared for his own soul, he might have drifted from God and led others astray. Those who fail to continually grow allow the world to distract them from their goal of adulthood as a Christian. It is only those who feast upon the word, allowing it to nourish their souls, who grow properly.
Christians who grow and continue to grow will be concerned with their salvations and the salvations of those around him. They will seek to do all that is within their power for the Lord.
Everyone who desires to please God must see the need to continue to grow as Christians. It is necessary to see the need to care for ourselves spiritually. Jesus is the Great Physician who supplies needed care for all in sin. The care that Jesus offers must be accepted. Just as people can refuse the words of a physical doctor, they also can refuse to heed the words of the Great Physician. God created man in his image (Genesis 1:27) and gives man the power to choose to obey or reject his creator. These point to the need for man to realize that the soul needs care. The Christian who fails to mature can miss this point. Continue to work toward maturity as a Christian, and then lead others to Christ and help them mature.
In order to mature as a Christian, the desire to know more and follow God must last for a lifetime. However, before one can mature as a Christian, one must become a Christian. Study of the word produces faith (Romans 10:17) and repentance (Luke 13:3), leading one to be willing to confess Jesus as the son of God (Matthew 10:32) and a desire to have one’s sins washed away by baptism (Acts 2:38).
May we ever heed Peter’s admonition: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).