Three Marks of the Spiritually Immature

8 Sep

My youngest son – Tobias.

Babies require a lot of attention.

  • Babies cannot feed themselves.
  • Babies stick.
  • Babies can’t defend themselves.

As a father of three boys, I have personally experienced these truth, and as a leader in the church I have noticed some parallels between babies and the spiritually immature.

 The Spiritually mature feed themselves.

My middle son Andrew.

The immature show up to church every Sunday (some of them NEVER miss), and open their mouths saying, “Feed me.”  The spiritual parent provides a message that they quickly swallow, and they never eat again until the following Sunday.  Like baby birds who eat their mother’s regurgitated worms, spoon spoon-fed Christians eat only what they are given.

A follower of Jesus has tasted how good He is, and desire more.  1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”  However, many Christians have filled their natural desire for God with other appetites of the Flesh.

As a disciple matures in faith, he or she is no longer dependent on others for nourishment.  Disciples are able to connect with God on a personal level – through listening to His voice, and responding.

The Spiritually mature don’t stink.

Babies often stink.  When babies make a mess (in their diaper), they don’t just say, “Mom/Dad, don’t you worry.  I will take care of that foul odor coming from my backside by changing my undergarments.”    When stinky, babies often don’t notice.  As they turn into toddlers, children either cry when dirty, or run off and hide.

Babies are not able to always discern the disgusting from the amazing, and when they are discovered playing in the disgusting, they don’t know what to do.  Being aware of the power of sin in our lives, and daily surrendering our lives to Jesus is a step of maturity.  The spiritually mature are aware of the messes that they make in their own lives (and how their sins affect others), and are proactive in cleaning up the mess left behind.

The Spiritually mature can defend themselves.

A parent of a baby is always on duty (especially when children are old enough to walk, but not old enough to discern danger).  The immature are unable to sense danger whether it comes from an electrical socket or a car.  The spiritually immature are unable to discern truth from error.  Whether surfing the web or listening to the radio, they are drawn, and persuaded by what their ears want to hear.  (2 Timothy 4:3)  The spiritually mature have the ability to listen to others, without feeling the need to change their own beliefs, or the necessity to prove others wrong.

Physical age and spiritual maturity are easily confused by those who have never had the later (like Mayo and Miracle Whip).  However, true disciples accept no substitute.

(Here is another article on the topic of Spiritual Maturity and Age – When the Church is Fighting Over Coffee Pots.)

2014 July4Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He is an avid lover of Legos, video games, and anything related to the Marvel Universe.

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