When my boys were younger, they loved standing with their back to the wall and getting measured. They wanted to know how much taller they had grown since they were measured last. Any fraction of an inch was cause for celebration!
As Christians, we should grow! In fact, it should be fun and exciting! We should celebrate, at least internally, when we see how much more we have progressed in our faith since the last time we checked ourselves.
But, how can we measure spiritual maturity? It seems too subjective, right?
One of the ways of measuring our spiritual maturity has to do with our growing understanding of the deep truths of Scripture, our application of what we know, and our ability to convey those truths to others.
Simply put, we don’t fully understand something if we cannot teach it to others. Further, if we say we “know” something but it is making absolutely no impact on our lives, we don’t really know it.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul told his protege, Timothy. He had been teaching Timothy and now, being convinced of his spiritual maturity, told him to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NLT) “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
We’re not just talking about someone who gets up in front of a class and wastes people’s time. We’re talking about someone who has a growing understanding of God’s Word, is taking it seriously enough to apply it in their own lives, and is able to convey those truths to others in a way that can be understood so that teachers are being developed.
Unfortunately, in my Bible reading this morning, I came across a rebuke that the writer of Hebrews gave to his readers. He was disappointed in their lack of spiritual maturity … and it had everything to do with the fact that they weren’t growing in their understanding and application of God’s Word. They certainly didn’t know enough to teach others.
Hebrews 5:11-12 (NLT) “There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 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.”
Clearly, one way we can measure or spiritual maturity is based upon our understanding and application of Scripture and then our ability to teach it to others.
So, to whom are you teaching God’s Word? It can be a class, a friend, your child or grandchild, a protege – anyone who you love enough to help along on their road to holiness.
If you aren’t teaching someone, the rebuke of Hebrews 5:11-12 may hit very close to home. So, grow in your understanding and application of God’s Word and then find someone to share those life-giving truths with! And have fun doing it!