Ever been called out for immaturity or praised for being mature? There seems to be a standard for what maturity does or does not look like.
As far as definitions go, “mature” means to be fully developed physically, full-grown, or having reached the most advanced stage in a process.
But what does maturity look like as an abstract concept? Let’s unpack that.
The ability to focus on the task at hand
I went to a college that required chapel attendance. At least three times a week, thousands of students poured into an amphitorium where they were expected to pay attention to a 35-minute service.
While many did, there was an exceptional number that spent the time texting friends, playing games, or scrolling through social media platforms.
The president of the university once addressed the issue saying that it’s a mark of immaturity if you cannot get off your phone and focus on the chapel service.
The same applies in other contexts. Regardless of the desired or undesired situation, maturity will look around and be respectful of what’s going on.
A mature person will admit when they are wrong and be receptive when others call them out. They will be good enough to know that they can be better.
In relationships, a mature person will recognize when something is or is not appropriate. They will surrender their innate desires for the sake of respect and honor.
The health and maturity of a relationship are not measured by an absence of problems but by the way the inevitable problems are handled.
A mature person will be able to identify an issue and sit down to say “let’s fix this” instead of being a child and ignoring you.
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”-1 Timothy 4:12
As the very essence of love is putting the needs of others before your own, a mature person will have the ability to step back and realize, “It’s not about me.”
Maturity is when a person hurts you and you try to understand their situation rather than hurt them back.
“Spiritually mature people rejoice in the privilege of sacrificing.”-Dr. Pettit
Spiritual maturity isn’t just loving God, it’s loving the unlovely, the less fortunate, the lost, and the broken.
A person who has reached the most advanced stage, as the definition of maturity goes, will naturally have a wholistic picture of themself.
They may not know every nook and cranny, and they will certainly have to re-learn many lessons, but they will have a solid foundation including an understanding of…
- Who they are as an individual person
- Union with their God-given purpose
- How their skillset, passions, and the need of others connect into a career
- How their weaknesses employ the strenths of others
The self-aware person will simultaneously know their inner workings and be able to look beyond themselves at how they are uniquely fitted to serve those around them.