Growing Into Spiritual Maturity
We have a lot to say about this topic, and it's difficult to explain, because you have been lazy and you haven't been listening. Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you an introduction to the basics about God's message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil. Hebrews 5:11-14 (CEB)
Like the Hebrews some people are slow to learn. After studying about this the problem is being dull in hearing. Being lazy and not listening. This is the same as being spiritually sluggish and mentally lazy. I know these words sound harsh, but the truth hurts. Personally I spent several years sipping on milk. I also realized there was another problem I had to address. I was a very cold hearted person and my heart had turned to stone. It took years for God to change my heart. Even when I started to listen I didn't put my heart into it and made no real effort to move forward. The truth is I was just simply showing up to Bible study and church.
When I was just a baby depending on the milk I remember being taught about this and learning that we all need to grow. The first time I was told that I needed to learn to stand on my own two feet I was crushed. Honestly that was the push I needed to start moving forward and I started paying attention and really listening. I also remember being told to read the Word for myself for several years. After doing so I finally got it and stressed that I did. Things started happening and I started growing. Then a few years later we did a Bible study on making disciples. My best friend (who was our leader) told us it was time for us to start (making disciples) teaching others. I freaked out and she eased me into it by saying (instead of leading Bible study) it is just coffee and conversation. After six years Shelly (my best friend) gave me a Bible and inside she wrote "You are such a blessing growing leaps and bounds... Never stop growing. March Forth... and I have ever since.
Maturity is rooted in change which is necessary for growth. Growing from an infant into adulthood takes years and the same applies for becoming mature. Spiritual growth consists of being Christlike developing our character, behavior, and attitudes. Mature means being fully developed, completion; having reached the most advanced stage in progress. This is something that can never be rushed because it takes time. It appears that God isn't concerned about how quickly we grow but that we are strengthened by spiritual growth and continue to always put our best effort into it for the rest of our lives.
This is how we should live our Christian life understanding our new identity in Christ and learning how to live it out. The change we need to make is stop thinking that we are in control. We need to change our bad habits and make the choice to develop habits with values such as love, compassion, and other Christlike values. We can only accomplish this in knowing the Lord can open our minds and hearts to help us grow and develop spiritual maturity. We also need to be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit within us. This pathway will include things like obedience, sacrifice, and discernment.
Keep in mind when you are growing spiritually at times it will be hard and you will definitely feel the growing pains. In the end it will definitely be worth it. You will also experience times of growth spurts which are amazing. You won't even notice them until someone tells you. Always keep growing my friends.