Humility in Maturity.
How would you rate your spiritual maturity from one to ten? Before answering that question, we must first ask, what is maturity? In a nutshell, spiritual maturity is growth—to become more Christlike, to know God more, and to the piety of the fear of the Lord. So, in a ‘rating’, ten would be Christlike, and zero would be immature.
This was one of the discussion questions that struck me during the retreat a few weeks back. As the people around me tried to answer this question, I thought about what I should say before being given the spotlight. It sure wasn’t an easy question to answer. Most of the people in my group rated themselves in the lower half of the spectrum. But as I pondered hard, I couldn’t settle on an answer. Who are we to be the judge over ourselves? Who are we to set the standard? The standard we judge against must be of the absolute truth—the Bible—through God’s lens.
To grow, we must know the truths
We must build the foundation of our growth on the truth, which is the Word of God. Not only that, but also on the unity that we can have with and in Christ. Only when we are in this union, this one ship in Christ, we may be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. And this relationship that Christ has offered us is only through His sovereign grace. Christ is the one who has initiated; He loved us first, allowing us to be sanctified and grow daily in oneship with Him. And because of that, we cannot take our short life lightly. Only through knowing Him we can grow to be more like Him. Only through knowing Him may we understand the truth.
To know the truth, you must have Humility.
Without humility, you will never be able to learn the truth. We are such prideful people. I know it’s an easy thing to say, and listening to that just turns into a breeze. But trust me, I understand how hard it is to be humble sometimes. I cannot stress how much of a trap false humility can be.
Sometimes we even act humbly to be seen as humble people, and I am sure guilty of doing that. Whether we realise it or not, we bring our pride and ego into the most minor things. I've recently been struggling with my pride and anger. To me, everyone and everything seems to be against me. My parents would get mad at me for what I considered small and petty things, which would constantly be tiring. I'm sure that all teens can relate to me here.
It’s been quite a struggle for me recently, and it's pretty contradicting for me to write an article about humility when I am struggling with pride myself. But the words shared from the last retreat have allowed me to reflect on myself and my spiritual maturity. From the outside, you might see me as an avid churchgoer involved in so much ministry. But just because I live with that culture, it doesn’t mean that I’m growing and having that personal relationship with Him. Because to grow, our faith must be nourished. Just like a pot plant, if it is not well kept, watered, and given sufficient sunlight, it will surely die. It is the same with our spiritual lives. If we do not nourish our faith with the Word of God, our faith will surely wilt.
The Bible is what can refresh our souls. It sounds quite cliche and abstract. But personally, sharing from when I genuinely ponder on His Word is very sweet. Whenever we have that personal and intimate relationship with Him, it is beautiful. We cannot fill our lives with worldly things because it will only take away from the strength of our faith. But only picking the Bible up and reading it won’t cut it.
We must deny ourselves if we want to accept the truth and learn and know the truth. Deny our pride. I’ve used this analogy many times, but there is only one seat in your heart. And on it, it's either you or Christ. If it is not Christ that reigns in your heart, then you cannot grow in the truth. Even if you are surrounded by godly people, the church community, or you study theology.
If we reign over our own lives, we will never be able to accept Christ as our Saviour nor grow in Him. But when we humble yourselves, then we can accept His Word and allow it to rebuke and change us.
To grow more like Christ, we must increase in the knowledge of Him and grow in godliness with the fear of the lord. But, first, we must learn to humble ourselves. The bible states this countless times.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
This is a short article with one message. I hope that I've made it clear. You cannot know God without a humble heart. So ask for His grace, because when we humbly and truly thirst for His Word, of knowing Him. James 4:6, says, “He opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”.
So pray, ask God to have a heart that yearns for His Word, and ask for a humble heart to grow in spiritual maturity.
“The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.”