Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Driving With Mr. Instant Perfection

Suggested Reading: Hebrews 5:11-6:12

Several years ago I was friends with a young man who was a relatively new Christian.  He was extremely excited about the Lord and about sharing the Gospel with people but he would still make dumb decisions from time to time. During this time, we had the opportunity to take a long road trip together. As we drove and talked, this young man shared with me his excitement about what God was doing in his life and proceeded to tell me, "It is just amazing how the Lord has just matured me. How he has perfected me to the point where I don't sin anymore!" Having been a witness to some of his less than intelligent antics and a few times when he had lost his temper, I wanted to bring up his mistakes and say, "Think again, buddy," but I found a more tactful method of reminding him of his immaturity.

My friend wasn't alone, though. All too often we begin to think much more of ourselves than we should, believing we are much more mature than we actually are, even if we are too smart to say it out loud. The author of the book of Hebrews was dealing with a similar dynamic when he wrote, "You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong" (Hebrews 5:12-14, NLT).

The author of Hebrews was reminding his audience that mature people don't just talk like they are mature but they act like it, recognizing the difference between right and wrong and showing it with their actions. When we want to evaluate how mature we are, we should take a long look at our actions. Are we willing to admit when we are wrong? Are we able to accept criticism without feeling attacked? Are we caring for the defenseless and helpless?

One of the first signs of maturity is the ability to recognize one's own immaturity. Can we judge our actions with honest consideration or do we think we have things under control? Anytime we start thinking we have arrived, that is a definite sign we have a long way yet to go.

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