Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Do You Define Maturity?


Perspective is everything. Maturity is difficult to define, but many consider growing perspective an important ingredient of maturity.  

The experience of modern flight is a good example. I recently took off from the San Francisco Airport en route to Seattle. At 1,000 feet I could see the white caps on San Francisco Bay. At 5,000 feet I lost sight of the whitecaps, but now I could take in both shores of the Bay at once. At 10,000 feet I could simultaneously see both Oakland and San Francisco. At 25,000 feet the city details were gone, but now I could see fifty miles in all directions.

This is perspective––the ability to see the big picture. The greater our perspective the less important the details––the pains and traumas of the moment––and the more important the place our life occupies in the ongoing flow of eternity.

God's perspective brings peace in the midst of trouble. "There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God" (Ps. 46). You learn that your five year old has juvenile diabetes, but growing perspective enables you to see this in the bigger picture of God’s ongoing work.

Your church goes through a nasty split. People are hurt. The personal faith of many is weakened or destroyed. But those with God’s perspective are graced by God to continue on.

Where do we get perspective? We get it from God’s Word. The Bible constantly reminds us that we are small, insignificant creatures, but created immortal, and loved by God with an infinite love. Perspective reminds us that we will live forever, that it is what comes after death that matters, both for us and our loved ones. The Bible motivates us to pitch our tents in the world to come. 

This is divine perspective. Here is how Paul said it. “If you have been raised with Christ seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things…” (Col. 3:1-2).

In conclusion, how do you see things? Do you live at 1,000 feet or 25,000? Is your capacity to see the big picture growing or diminishing?

Here is the wonderful news. I don’t think the perspective of the redeemed will ever quit growing. I believe heaven is a place of ever-growing perspective as we climb to ever higher spiritual altitudes. For the Saints this process begins at conversion and never ends. 

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