Maturity, or growing in maturity, is one of my favorite things to talk about in this blog. This is not because I am an example of maturity. It is because I am far away from it, and fighting to obtain it.
So what is maturity? We can have many definitions of maturity. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Maturity as "the quality or state of being mature; especially: full development"
I believe Maturity is much more than being responsible, organized, reliable or whatever other word we can come up to describe it. As Christians, we are fortunate enough to have a perfect example of Maturity.
Jesus, and the likeness of Him, is our example of what maturity looks like. Unlikeness of Him, is therefore, immaturity.
Here maturity goes beyond the developmental context that Merriam-Webster gives, though development has something to do with it. You can hardly blame a child, for example, for being "immature", but in this definition, it doesn't necessarily mean the child is not Christ-like in many aspects (cf Mathew 19:14, Mathew 18:3).
But before I derail this post into a philosophical one as I'm so prone to do, let's get to the point I want to make.
My work requires a lot of patience. I work in a gas station in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Oakland. There are lots of panhandlers, shoplifters and the occasional robbery.
To makes matter worse, it is a busy station. Customers can be extremely rude, even threatening you "to beat you up" by some unintended mistake you make with a transaction.
Once, as I was just finishing sweeping the parking lot, I saw a customer stop in the middle of it, opens his car's door, and dump a considerable amount of garbage on the parking lot. As soon as he was finished, he drove off rapidly.
"Seriously?! We have garbage cans!" I said as I angrily went and cleaned up the mess he created.
Some of my coworkers have the bad habit of just emptying the garbage cans, but not replacing the bags. Customers come to the station and fill the bag-less garbage cans to the brim, forcing me to carry the heavy beast to the garbage to finally empty it, and put in a new garbage bag.
I'm pretty sure they sometimes pay by my own immaturity.
My point is this, and hopefully this is motivation for us to grow in Christ: somebody else has to pay for our immaturity.
If a parent is irresponsible, his or her child suffers and pays for it. If I can't clean up after myself, somebody else will eventually. If I'm impatient and harsh, the ones around me have to pay for my hurting words.
That's the way this world seems to be. It is the justice inherent in us as interpersonal beings.
It is the reason, I believe, Jesus came and paid the price for all of us. Someone had to do it. There is no other way.