The final characteristic I am using to define spiritual maturity is that of perseverance. While our salvation is secure, our actions and mentally at times can betrayed this. The mature Christian is not immune to suffering or persecution but they don’t shy from it seeking what God might teach them or might be glorified in it. How we respond to the challenges of life defines our perseverance. Do we turn from our community when it gets messy? Do we let depression overpower us and rob our humility? In maturity we face life with assurance and strength. Our example is extended and in community we stand with others struggling as well. Our faith is lasting and weathered but remain undaunted by life.
How might I then realize these characteristics in my life and be an example for those around me? Personally I recognize 3 areas in which I need to invest, prayer, study and community. In prayer I ask God to spur me on and keep me in a place of holistic pursuit of Him. I have the daily opportunity to see how the cross has changed my life and in prayer I can meditate on this further and keep it at the center of my life. Moving to study I can never rest in my pursuit of God’s revelation. I must avoid study for intellectualism’s sake and maintain it for God’s glory alone. As I study I am equipped to share with others what God has shown me and bring them into greater relationship with Him. This is a grand purpose. And finally in community I allow others to push me to maintain all of this. As I open my life I am creating relationships that I rely on and fulfill biblical commands for it.