Yesterday someone brought up the issue of Christian maturity. It was related to what was being taught and discussed from Ephesians 1. But not directly. So it was only mentioned.
But it got me to thinking. What is Christian maturity? On the surface the answer seems easy, something like: being conformed to the image of Christ, or, becoming like Jesus. This is a large point of what it means to be a Christian.
I believe, however, that the only way we're really going to begin to understand and experience this maturity, is to remain in Scripture, in a commitment to a body of believers, i.e., to a church, and in reading good Bible scholars and theologians, all the while going back to Scripture to verify if their contribution is helping us understand the Story of God. There are other authors, but the two who have had the most impact on me during the past five years are N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight.
Of course when it comes to Christian maturity, in Jesus, we're all works of God in process. So we must always be open to change, though most of the change we will see, will be gradual and over time. Usually only striking in that we can tell that our current life and experience is different from our past. Journaling is nice here, though I haven't done much of it, myself. But I can look back on what I wrote years past, and compare that to what I would write now, about my experience.
While Scripture and Christian community are the most crucial for our Christian growth in maturity, I don't want us to discount the help Christian authors can give us. There are a good number that can help us. They are gifts from God to the church. To help us grow into and realize what we have and are and are equipped to do, in Christ, in this world.
What have you found helpful in promoting spiritual growth in your own life? What difficulties have you experienced in this?