Would you describe yourself as a mature Christian? How would you even know? Honestly, that term feels sort of subjective. What one person considers mature, another might not.
So, should we even worry about it? The quick answer is “yes.” First, the Bible makes it clear God wants us to be spiritually mature:
“…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph 4:13, NIV
The Greek word translated as “mature” in Ephesians 4:13 is teleios. It means to be “complete, perfect, brought to end, of full age.” Spiritual maturity is God’s goal for us.
In fact, our spiritual maturity is so important to God, He allows trials into our lives to grow our faith:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4
If our maturity is this important to God, perhaps we should take it more seriously. But how can we know if we’re growing spiritually? What does a mature Christian look like? Thankfully, we don’t have to depend on our opinion or best guess. The Bible tells us what spiritual maturity looks like.
7 Characteristics of a Mature Christian
The Bible gives us many marks of a growing believer, like perseverance and spiritual fruit, but the Bible specifically mentions the following 7 characteristics in conjunction with the Greek word teleios:
- Recognizes the difference between right and wrong – then does what is right (Hebrews 5:14)
- Not easily swayed by false teaching (Ephesians 4:13-16) – So grounded in the truth of God’s Word, she quickly recognizes falsehood.
- Rooted in love (Ephesians 4:13-16) – Our words and actions flow from love for our fellow believers.
- Serves the church (Ephesians 4:13-16) – A Christian cannot grow to her full potential apart from a vital connection to a local church. She must find her place of mutual service and encouragement.
- Lives with an eternal perspective (Philippians 3:13-15) – The reality of the spiritual and eternal drives her life. She purposefully strives to continual spiritual growth because she knows this life is temporary.
- Controls her tongue (James 3:2) – If a Christian has good control of her speech, you know she is on a path to maturity!
- Reflects God’s character to the world (Matthew 5:48) – God wants us to grow in spiritual maturity in order to reflect the character of Jesus to a watching world.
So how are you doing? What area do you struggle in the most? Why?
Want to be purposeful in your spiritual growth? You may find this post helpful: “5 Tips for Setting Spiritual Growth Goals.”