Reprinted from the December 2013 issue of “Gospel Advocate” Magazine.
A 5-year-old, while not completely independent, has chores and responsibilities. He should be able to feed and dress himself and be learning how to read and write. A 10-year-old should be more mature. He might be holding down a newspaper delivery job or mowing lawns. A 20-year-old is either in college receiving higher education or has a full-time job. A 45-year-old man should be reasonably mature. We would expect him to have a productive job, to contribute to society, and no doubt to be looking after a family.
Quickly calculate how many years you have been a Christian. Start with your current age, and subtract the age you were when you became a Christian. You won’t have to tell anybody – just do this for your own edification. I am 57 years old and was baptized at 12. I have been a Christian, then, for 45 years.
The Bible says that God expects us to grow spiritually: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 esv). It is unnatural to be a Christian for a prolonged period of time and not be taking on the responsibilities of a mature, adult Christian. “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God” (Hebrews 5:12).
So what kinds of qualities can 5-year-olds, 10-year-olds and 45-year-olds look for in themselves that would indicate growing Christian maturity? Isn’t it time we – especially we baby boomers – begin to show maturity?