A couple of statements about spiritual maturity that will mess with you Part -1

We live in a day and age where there are tons of competing voices even to the point of white noise in the Christian World. Through all the noise I heard a clear voice express some fresh and compelling ideas about spirituality that I thought I’d toss out there for you to chew on. These thoughts are based on a talk I heard Larry Osborne, Pastor of North Coast Church in California, give last week and are expounded upon further in his book, “Spirituality for the Rest of Us.”


#1 The ultimate mark of a disciple is obedience

Maturity isn’t what you know so much as it is what you do with what you know.

#2 Spiritual Growth is seldom a linear process

As maturing Christ followers we all tend to take the same courses; we just take them out of order. As a result many people end up pretending, projecting, and beating themselves up. Because we forget that maturity is movement towards obedience, not some badge we get when we arrive at some special destination or pass a special test they give at church.

#3 No two personal relationships are ever exactly alike

I am one dad, with one house, but I have 3 kids with 3 different personalities (two girls, and one boy). Who all relate to me differently and I relate to differently. Yet at the same time there are house rules that are consistent across the board. People relate to God differently, and He relates to them differently…and that’s okay.

#4 When tools become rules you build pride instead of disciples

You have to honestly look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What draws me closer to Jesus?” Then do that. Don’t feel guilty for what doesn’t work for you, or project what works for you onto other people. It’s possible for people to recite their checklist of spiritual disciplines they are involved in and still be having an affair. Activity doesn’t equal maturity.


Which one of these questions or statements about spritual development is the most difficult for you to get your head around? Leave a comment below.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

6 Responses to “A couple of statements about spiritual maturity that will mess with you Part -1”

  1. paul alexander May 16, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Ward – Thanks for the encouragement and support, I always appreciate your kind words.

  2. Sheldon Brown May 16, 2011 at 10:32 am #


    I can get my head around each of these the challenge, for me, is actually doing them. Like you I am a dad and get pulled in so many directions. I have to make a point to treat each child a little differently. I make an effort to “Draw Closer to Jesus”. I have to think about his love when I want to do what I want instead of what He wants. I have to get up early or stay up late for Spiritual Growth time.

    You and Larry had some good things to say. Thanks for the reminder this morning.


  3. paul alexander May 16, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Sheldon – Scripture speaks of “not being conformed to…” That’s our work. Scripture also speaks of being “transformed to…” That’s a work of the Spirit in us. Rest in His work in you today!

  4. Ward Townsend May 16, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Do you remember when i asked you how I could best support you during your teaching time because there where times i just wanted to stand up and cheer but that would probably be viewed as “inappropriate” in our Sunday morning service? you gave me a suggestion that morning and here it is…

    “AMEN!” ; )

  5. Brian Stankich May 18, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    #2 Maybe it is the wording. I think that we are on the same journey with the same destination but different pathways or courses, not the same. The beauty of the Christian life is that God creates uniqueness (or unique individuals) out of a redemptive plan that molds us into the same Image(Jesus).

  6. paul alexander May 18, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Brian – It’s a thing of beauty that God can be forming us into the image of His Son…and yet we are still unique pieces of the body…one personality, gift, etc. can not adequately reflect the complexity of the person of God!

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