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  • David

    September 23, 2022 at 7:15 am

    The Seedbed Daily Text, September 23, 2022

    This is one of my favorite Daily Text, now the Wake-Up Call, readings. JD is spot on in this one. I could go on and on about the failure of the church to grow people, but I will try to stick to the questions.

    First how do I define maturity? JD says the church lacks metrics. I agree, but it is not because metrics to measure spiritual maturity do not exist. It is because we fail to use them. There are many reliable spiritual growth assessments available. Two of my favorites are Peter Scazzero’s “Emotionally Healthy Discipleship Personal Assessment” (emotionallyhealthy.org/mature) based on his book Emotionally Healthy Discipleship: moving from shallow Christianity to deep transformation. The other is the “Spiritual Growth Profile” (stagesoffaith.com) based on the scholarship of Don Willett in his book The Path: how to understand and experience authentic spiritual growth.

    There are many more ways to measure spiritual maturity, but back to the question of how do I personally define spiritual maturity? A spiritually mature person is someone who has a profound love of God and for all of humanity. It is someone who acts justly, loves kindness, and walks humbly with God (Micah 6:8). They exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They are self aware and know their own flaws, but they are faithful to confess their sins and forgive others. They realize that it is not about them and that they are being made like Christ by the Holy Spirit for the sake of others. They are full of Grace and Truth and they abide in Christ and bear much fruit (John 15:1-10).

    As far as where I am on a scale of spiritual maturity from 1 to 10, I would say that I am an 8 or 9 on a good day and a 5 or 6 on a bad day. I am not there yet, but I am getting closer to being perfect as my Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). I have taken both of these Spiritual Growth Assessments and they classify me as a Spiritual Adult/Parent. I am trying my best to live into that designation.

    For the most part, the organized church did not help me mature spiritually, if anything they were a hindrance to my spiritual growth. My personal relationship with Christ, the personal practice of the spiritual disciplines, and my relationship with others through banded discipleship have helped me grow and mature more than anything else.