Lately I have heard it mentioned many times that not every follower of Christ needs to do the same thing as another, at times. This is true. God does design it that everyone and their life and call in Him is different and therefore, requires different things from each of us.
We are to learn by the Holy Spirit and He will lead and teach us based on where we are at in the Lord. But I think we have to understand that the Lord intends for us all to come to the same maturity.
I say this because, as mentioned in my last post about whether to request a tax receipt or not for a financial donation to a charity or ministry, it is recognized that not everyone does, or feels, the same. Each person acts on the wisdom and understanding they have. This wisdom and understanding should be what has been taught to them by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, differences in the way we currently deal with this issue is acceptable, but God does not ideally want everyone ‘doing their own thing’.
We grow and learn in our spiritual maturity just as children grow and learn to mature. There are stages and each stage has its acceptable level of immaturity, but it is expected that the child will grow out of that immaturity and into greater maturity. So it goes with our spiritual growth. How else do we all come unto the full measure of the stature of Christ? How else are we all of one mind?
A different stand here might be to say that we are different parts of the same body and therefore we would not all be expected to treat one aspect of life the same as all others. The differences in the body, I think, are more appropriately assigned to our calling and ministries, however, not to our spiritual maturity.
Love is love. Faith is faith. Grace is grace. These aspects conduct themselves uniquely based on situations and circumstances, but the essence of these are to be the same in each of those unique situations. All from the same source, our Father.
To grow into the maturity of the character and nature of Christ, having the mind of Christ and growing unto the full measure of the stature of Christ, is to understand all things as the Father intends. He does not intend for anyone mature in Christ-like character, to believe that doing the wisest thing carnal men consider to do with their finances, for example, as a spiritual and Godly thing. The wisdom of men is foolishness to God. The wisdom of the Spirit is far greater than this.
To stay with the example of a tax receipt, when learning to be accountable for finances and coming under the discipline of accountability, it is good to learn to get a tax receipt and improving your financial situation this way. However, a tax receipt is not a spiritual thing. It is a worldly thing. It is very much of the economic system of which the Kingdom of Heaven does not conduct itself.
So we have to give our heads a shake now and then and realize that we are all in differing stages of growth, but it is expected that we will grow up and out of our immaturity and into greater spiritual maturity. We must learn to think, know and understand with the mind of Christ and not the carnal mind with its best worldly wisdom that is foolishness when measured by the Spirit.
We can tend to use our immaturity as an excuse and claim that this is what God has taught us, though He may be doing differently with someone else. He does do differently with all of us, but only in specifics for teaching, NOT in character and maturity.
You would do no different with your children. Having more than one child, would you expect one to grow up in maturity and another not? One may be athletic, or another disabled, but you would still desire each one to know love for each other, both to trust you, both to learn to make wise choices, etc, even though each must conduct his life a little differently.
Let’s stop making excuses for ourselves and for others too. There’s too much at stake to be lazy and childish where our spiritual growth is concerned. No, we do not have control of many aspects of our growth, any more than a child does, but we do, as children do, have the choice to rise up to maturity. Just as we recognize many children that are ‘wise beyond their years’, or simply quite mature for their age. I dare to say it is much the same for us in Christ.
seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
2 Peter 1:3 NASB
We have to stop whining and complaining like the Israelites in the wilderness.
We have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.
We have to stop making excuses for ourselves.
We have to stop making excuses for others.
We have to stop doing what we’ve always done (spiritually speaking), and expect better results.
We have to start paying more attention to what the Spirit is saying.
We have to stop playing games and take on some responsibility.
We have to stop being offended and insulted.
We have to grow up!
We are not ‘safe’ because we are saved or born again. That only means we have eternal life. It does not mean we have the spiritual insight and understanding, fortitude and discernment to know what to do or when to do it, when the Lord requires. If we do not quickly become one whom He can count on to help others, we will be the needy ones and that will not please Him. Would that not be a disappointment to Him? Is that glorifying Him?
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11
For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, Hebrews 5:13 – 6:1
Let’s finally put the childish things behind us and grow up unto maturity, coming along side one another to help and encourage our friend and neighbor to do the same.