There is a saying popular in Latin American, possibly from Miguel Cervantes, that says "Tell me thy company and I tell thee what thou art".
I'm starting to believe that the best way to mature is through intimacy with God.
True maturity is more than simply imitating Christ, but becoming Christ-like.
How is He like? What is His character like? What are His values? How are we supposed to know unless we spend time with Him?
When we have an intimate encounter with God we can be eager to follow him, and in this emotional high we can pursue His teachings in perhaps unhealthy ways. Some of us get stuck in this early stage for far too long.
We can try as hard as we can to be like Christ, and follow every step correctly, at least outwardly. But character growth is not achieved overnight, it doesn't come without a fight, there is a price to pay in denying ourselves.
In this early stage we can be perceived as hypocrites and even fanatics, trying to be super gentle and sweet or whatever we perceive Christ to be for example, and people around us can easily see this act we are trying so hard to pull off.
We can become Pharisees.
Let us, therefore, not rush into sainthood, but continue steadily, and perhaps slowly, in this race, where every step that we take is fueled and inspired by the Holy Spirit, instead of our own flesh.
Let us grow but in Christ alone, where our time spent with Him slowly changes us into the beings He created us to be.
Catholics, let us spend time with Him in the Eucharist, knowing that we become what we eat, His body and blood.
There is a story of Steve Jobs becoming orange from his obsessive diet of carrots. We become what we eat.
Evangelical Christians have showed us a great example in how to grow in Him through their love and devotion of Scriptures. We find Christ throughout Scriptures. Both Old Testament and New Testament give testimony of Christ, but we find Him specially in the Gospel narratives.
Let us therefore enjoy Christ in Scriptures, for ignoring Scriptures is ignoring Christ (St. Jerome).
I believe that, if and only if we spend our company with Christ, then we can become like Him.