Recently, I have encountered people who have made bad choices and had to suffer some bad consequences. It goes with the territory of my job as a pastor, to help such people. As I have sought to help them understand how that happened, their common response has once again alerted me to how easy it is to miss the truth that sets men free, not only in their understanding, but in their journey of living out the truth. Their common response has been something like this, "After all these years of walking with Christ, how could I do such a thing?" May I interpret? "I should be stronger in Christ by now" or “I should be more mature by now.”
The mistake these dear people are making is that they think Christian maturity is going to be found in what they have done and for how long they have done it. They have memorized verses, sat under a lot of sermons, read their Bible and all of the latest books on the grace of God. They have been in discussion groups, discipleship classes, conferences, and the list goes on and on in terms of what "they have done" to gain maturity.
PLEASE HEAR ME ON THIS!
Christian maturity is NOT an issue of how long we have been a Christian or how much we have done on our part to attain maturity. Christian maturity is instantaneous at the moment of faith! Let those words reverberate in your mind as I share this illustration with you.
A coffee maker is a wonderful thing. It makes soothing, wonderfully tasting and comforting coffee to get us started in the morning. But in order for it to accomplish its work, it must be plugged in to the power source it was designed for. Unplug that coffee maker, and all you have left in your kitchen is a decoration. That coffee maker, without its designed power source, is dead in the water.