Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spiritual Maturity - It Takes a Lifetime

Image result for john piippo pear
(Pear, on my neighbor's tree)
Our neighbor has two old pear trees adjacent to our property line. I am allowed to pick them. In late summer any unharvested, mature pears fall onto the ground. 

It takes a whole season of connectedness for the pear to mature from what began as a flower. The pear-as-flower-bud is immature. It is far from fully formed.

In the spiritual life things are the same. The new Jesus-follower is young and, ipso facto, immature. This is not a criticism, just a reality. Just as Mc-Pears don't exist, neither does Mc-Spirituality. Yes, they can know Christ and be known by Christ. No, they are not and cannot be, e.g., a "mature worshiper." 

As a pear-flower matures into an edible pear, a baby Christian can mature into Christlikeness. This is a process. It takes time. Praise God for Jesus-followers who are young adults. If they live lives that abide in Christ, like branches attached to Jesus the Vine, they will grow towards maturity. But they cannot, at their age, be "mature," because this takes time.

"Maturing" is not some "quality time" thing, as if a pear would decide to spend a few quality hours attached to the tree. Spiritual maturity requires constant attachment, being broken and re-broken by God, over time, so as to be more greatly formed in Christ. This is how spiritual oak trees are made.

The flower-blossom-pear is in it for the long haul. So am I. And, probably, you, if you are reading this. To mature spiritually requires a lifetime. 

Continue dwelling in Christ.

Be patient. Long-suffer.

Stay attached. 

My two books are:
Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God
Leading the Presence-Driven Church.

I'm working on:
How God Changes the Human Heart
Technology and Spiritual Formation

Linda and I then plan to write our book on Relationships