We are each gifted according to Christ, through the Holy Spirit to do our various parts within the church. We know that all parts are important for the strength of the whole. However, here Paul reminds us that we are also to be strengthening each other with our gifts. The goal is a maturity of faith that can withstand the hard times of life.
I have watched many people come to follow Jesus over more than 25 years of ministry work. However, one of the saddest parts of ministry is watching someone continue in their immature faith, and never grow up. In our spiritual lives, just like in our physical lives God intends for us to grow and mature.
The lack of maturity sometimes remains hidden, as people learn about the Bible and even quote Scriptures. They may attend church and Bible studies regularly, but they never really grow up. It comes out in their actions toward others. In immaturity they remain selfish, putting their desires and needs over others. Attitudes such as anger or worry still have a controlling hold on their actions, and it shows to the people around them.
Sadly some people really never mature, and it isn’t realized even in their own heart. That is until they are faced with real struggle or trial. When they or a family member are diagnosed with incurable disease. When the job they thought was secure suddenly leaves them out of work. When things are piling up. Then the peace of God that should fill their heart and mind is overtaken with worry, anger, and even deceiving thoughts. It is in such times that they may lash out against the people they should be closest to. They may break relationships. Some even resort to schemes to try to cover or fix their situation that are dishonest. The end result is still the same. The lack of maturity now is evident to all around, and the peace and trust in God is gone.
Paul is reminding us that each member or part of God’s body (the church) is there to help each other toward maturity and security. Then we can stand firm and not be tossed around by the trials of life.
I would challenge you today to take some time to seriously ask God if you are living in mature faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to grow, and where you need to open up to serving God more.
I would also ask, as you pray that you ask for the eyes of God, as you look at friends and family in faith. Pray for one another, because everyone needs the strength of one another.
Prayer: Father, forgive us for allowing fear to keep us from serving you to our best. Help us Father to let your Spirit show us where we need to grow, and where we should be serving. Help those who struggle and are weaker, and lift them up in your strength. Help us today we pray. Amen.