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Positive Under Pressure

Spiritual-MaturityGod’s will is for every Christian to grow up and have a mature faith.

Hebrews 6:1 We must try to become mature… (CEV)

How many of you have ever thought, said or done something immature?  We get ourselves into all kinds of trouble because of immaturity.  We speak in immature ways, make immature decisions, think immature thoughts and do immature things.

Like the two brothers who were constantly getting into trouble because they were always doing immature things.  Their neighbors had enough and complained to the parents who decided to have their Pastor talk to the boys.  The youngest  came to the Pastor’s office and sat at a large table.  The Pastor wanted to emphasize to the boy that God knows everything he does because he is inside him, so he looks at the boy across the room, points at him and asks, “Where is God?”  The boy looks around the room and then back at the Pastor but says nothing.  Again, the Pastor points at the boy and in a louder voice asks, “Where is God?”  Still the boy says nothing.  Then the Pastor walks around the table, points just inches from the boy’s face and asks again in even a louder voice, “Where is God?”  That’s when the boy jumped out of his chair, ran out the door, went home, grabbed his older brother and says to him, “We’re in BIG trouble!” His brother replies, “What do you mean?  We haven’t even done anything!”  The younger brother replies, “Tell that to the Pastor, he said God is missing, and he thinks we did it!”

One of the reasons why some Christians aren’t mature is because they don’t understand what spiritual maturity is.  So, what is maturity?  It’s not AGE.  Maturity has nothing to do with how old you are or how long you’ve been a Christian.  You can be a Christian for fifty years and still not be mature.  That’s because some people get older, but never grow up.  Neither is maturity about APPEARANCE.  You can look really mature and even carry a Bible around with you but still not be spiritually mature.  Neither does maturity have anything to do with ACHIEVEMENT.  You can be very successful and even make millions of dollars and still not be mature.  Neither is maturity about ACADEMICS.  Just because you’re educated, have a degree or lots of abbreviations after your name doesn’t mean you’re mature.  Instead, God says maturity is about ATTITUDE.  When you have a Christ-like attitude that’s being mature.

The Book of James is a manual on maturity.  In it James uses the word for maturity five times in five chapters to show us Five Marks Of Maturity.  What are they?  First, a mature person is positive under pressure.

How do you react to problems?  What’s your attitude toward problems?  Do you worry, get nervous, uptight or negative?  Do you grumble or are you grateful?  Are you negative or positive?

James 1:2-4 My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble.  3 You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.  4 But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything. (CEV)

Christianity is a life not a religion and in life you’re going to have problems.  Part of being mature is facing those problems with the right kind of attitude.

James 1:12 God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (NLT)

Are you patient when you have problems or impatient?  Are you glad because you have an opportunity to learn something from a problem or are you sad because you have to go through problems?  A mature person is positive under pressure.

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The Bridge Church in Corona