“Nobody’s perfect!” I’ve heard it more times than I can count. Frankly, I’ve said it more times than I care to admit. It’s a common excuse we blurt out when we’ve made a mistake or done something wrong.
James 1:4 puts a different perspective on those infamous words. In fact, we’re told to be perfect. “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
The perfect man referred to in today’s verse is the one who is mature, full of integrity and virtue. What is maturity? The following description of maturity is by an unknown author but aptly describes the Christian’s goal to be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Maturity is the ability to do a job whether you are supervised or not, finish a job once it is started, carry money without spending it, and be able to bear an injustice without wanting to get even. Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence. Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to postpone immediate gratification in favor of the long-term gain. Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks. Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat without complaint or collapse. Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, “I was wrong.” And when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so.” Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it, as opposed to the immature person who spends their life exploring endless possibilities and then doing nothing. Maturity means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis.
To be mature in God’s eyes, one must not only possess these qualities, but be found complete in Him, having heart (not head) knowledge of the Word, being humble yet totally convinced of His forgiveness and mercy. Moreover, maturity is living in reverence to Him, responding to Him in obedience, resigning oneself to His will, trusting implicitly in Him, and retaining the motivation to worship Him and Him alone.
Are you mature? Are you complete? Seek His face, read His Word, grow in His wisdom, be faithful in all things. You will soon find that you are not only on the path to becoming “perfect” according to today’s verse, but you will reflect the ever-challenging image of maturity in your walk with Christ.
Father, when I compare my ways against those of a mature Christian, I am found lacking. Lord, help me to grow in maturity so my life will reflect Your incredible mercy and grace. Lord, help me to put away childish things and immaturity and to take on maturity so others may see a true representation of Your glory in the earth today. Amen.
“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:20)
© Jan Ross
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