We all tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. A weekend warrior athlete tends to think of him or herself on a plain similar to a professional. That is until they actually are around a professional then they get a correct assessment. If that tendency is true for athletes of all sorts, it is certainly true in all areas of life. Take marriage for instance. If you ask any given couple how their marriage is doing, they will generally say, “fine.” But if you give them a standard by which they can get a correct assessment they will see the need of improvement. The Bible is very clear about correctly assessing ourselves when it comes to our spiritual maturity.
Romans 12:3 (ESV) — 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Again, if you ask a typical church member if they are mature, they may tell you how long they have been a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ or how many years they have been a member of the church but the real proof is in their lives. Here are a couple of assessments:
- Are you serving or are you spectating?
Jesus made it clear that our faith is increased as we take on the attitude of a servant. Too many times we stand and watch or wait until we have been asked to serve before we just jump in when we see a need. If Jesus reminded us that after we have done everything, we are to think of ourselves as just unworthy servants doing what we should have been doing, then how dare we be content with being a spectator and never finding a need and filling it.
Luke 17:5–10 (ESV) — 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 “Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
Instead of waiting for someone to “give you a job,” take the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ,
Matthew 20:26–28 (ESV) — 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
- Are you evangelizing or are you a secret disciple?
Being ready to tell others about Christ, inviting others to church, and seeking to bring a blessing to others via a word from the Bible is not something for the very gifted, it’s an overflow of a heart that is locked on the Lord Jesus Christ. Just listen to what people talk about the most – the most important thing in their lives. So what does it say when Christians neglect talking about Christ to others?
Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV) — 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
1 Peter 3:15 (ESV) — 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
- Is your sensitivity to sin in your life growing or have you become insensitive to the little things to the place where you feel you have no sin – or at least avoid any need of confession of sin to God regularly?
1 John 1:5–10 (ESV) — 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Anytime we are quick to pass by our sin and not admit it is sin, we have a problem. God simply says to keep the list of offenses short by being quick to admit our errors to Him. Thankfully, He is quick to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Are you using the things you’ve been taught in the word of God or are you proud of what you have learned so much that you seem to hoard knowledge, rather than use it or share it?
Hebrews 5:12–14 (ESV) — 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Too many times we seem like people who hoard information instead of learning and using what we learn. The best thing is to use it and to teach or disciple others from that which we have learned.
- Are you hungry to learn and grow or are you content in feeling like you have arrived as if there is no need for any further growth or improvement?
Philippians 3:12–15 (ESV) — 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
Thank God for those good examples of people who never stop learning but are always seeking to grow day by day. Are you one of those people?