Watching TV commercials gives insight into the kinds of things we Americans value.  And among that list is the passion for looking and acting young.  The creams and potions and hair products and vitamins and medications are all targeted at our desire to look younger and to act younger than we are.  It represents a multi-million dollar a year industry.  It reminds me of Peter Pan’s “I won’t grow up” mantra.  And I find myself right in the middle of it all.  I decided some time ago to NOT keep up with the amount of money I spend on hair and face products! 

But … what is it that makes us want to be perpetually “young”?  It seems to spill over into behaviors and attitudes as well as looks.  Scripture values growing up … maturing … not staying perpetually “young”.  While Jesus commends innocent, child-like faith, He never condones spiritual immaturity and childishness. 

Listen to Paul in Ephesians 4: 14 – 15:  “We are no longer to be children, … we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ”

And Peter in 2 Peter 3:18:  “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.”

Maturity … a thing to be desired!

When writing to the Corinthian church, Paul says to those believers: “I could not speak to you as to spiritual me, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ.”  And this was not a good thing!
The believers in Corinth were not maturing … they were not growing up spiritually.  One evidence of the immaturity was the existence of jealousies and strife among them.  Hmmmmmm

Growth matters.  Spiritual growth is of utmost importance for the believer.  Maturing spiritually is a good thing.  Not only is it not to be avoided … it is to be pursued with passion!  Are you growing?  Visualize yourself a couple of years ago … are you more mature in your faith today?  What gives evidence of that maturing? 

I know some of the excuses that can be given for lack of growth …

          I can’t worry about that until my life smooths out a little.  After all, my schedule is wayyy too hectic right now.  Spiritual growth is for people who don’t have anything to do but sit around and “contemplate” and study.  I don’t have the time for that.  Sure, I want to … but just look at my calendar!

          It’s not my fault.  No one ever cultivated the proper soil in my life for spiritual growth.  My family of origin was a mess.  My dad was interested in nothing but his work.  No one taught me how and now it’s too late.  My spouse doesn’t care about it … how in the world am I supposed to put any focus on spiritual growing?  It’s not my fault.

          The relationships in my life are much too complicated and messy and volatile right now.  I can’t be expected to think about anything else until those things smooth out – until my life gets easier. 

Reader, you could most likely add a host of additional reasons why we think that spiritual growth cannot happen in our own lives.  But when I get lazy about it – when I get discouraged about it – when I decide it cannot happen because my life is too hard …. I remember a tree on Colorado Highway 135 … and I remember that God has promised to complete the good work (of maturing me in faith) that He began (Philippians 1:6).  He will grow me up, mature me spiritually!  What I have to do is submit myself to His good hand.  And we will grow … even in hard places! 

     My life, your life - they are not too hard for us to grow in our faith.  Re-commit to it … today!