In discipling others, avoid these six myths about spiritual maturity
1. Spiritual maturity is automatic:
We should not assume that people will mature simply because they show up at church or religious activities: “By this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God‘s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” (Hebrews 5:12)
2. Spiritual maturity is mystical:
Some retain the idea that maturity is beyond the reach of the average person, and is reserved for a select few. Not so: “That the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature… ” (Ephesians 4:12b, 13a)
3. Spiritual maturity is instant:
Certain people believe maturity is bound up in a single experience, conference, person, etc. Rather, spiritual maturity is a process that takes time and involves a multiplicity of exposures. Mushrooms sprout over night. Redwood trees take a bit longer!
4. Spiritual maturity is knowledge:
While Biblical knowledge is indispensable, it must be weighted along with righteous behavior: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
5. Spiritual maturity is personal and private:
True spiritual maturity does not occur in isolation. There is no allowance in Scripture for an independent spirit, as God intends for us to engage in fellowship and accountability with other believers: “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together… but let us encourage one another… Teach and admonish one another with all wisdom… ” (Hebrews 10:24, 25a; Colossians 3:16b)
6. Spiritual maturity is Bible study:
While Bible study is vital, the process of growth also encompasses loving relationships, an appreciation of the gifts, and genuine worship.
Conclusion: Growing toward spiritual maturity is a process that starts with commitment, but also entails the development of spiritual disciplines, a Biblical perspective on life, Scripturally rooted convictions, Christlike character, and the skills necessary to help others find and mature in Christ.