Monday, October 19, 2015

"Lacking in Nothing"

“Mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” - This is how the book of James describes a person who has endured life’s trials, and with faith come through them with a new understanding and perspective.

I love that phrase as a definition of a “mature” person: “lacking in nothing.” Maturity has very little to do with how old you are. And “spiritual” maturity has very little to do with how long you may have been a Christian.

Spiritual maturity has everything to do with realizing that in God you have what you need, that you are indeed lacking in nothing. It may require us to adjust our definitions of “need” and “want,” however. And perhaps this is where our youngest sisters and brothers can teach us.

One rainy night years ago, driving home in the dark, in the rain, with the family in the mini-van with me, I realized that every kid was sound asleep. They were not in the least bit anxious about slick roads or poor visibility or the possibility of an accident. I felt the burden of their trust heavily upon my shoulders, and I got them home safely.

And that moment taught me a little bit about what I need versus what I want. That my kids could sleep meant that they had what they needed in that moment, regardless of anything else. And significantly, it wasn’t a sparkly toy or flashy gadget that allowed them that rest, it was their trust. In that moment, they lacked in nothing.

Sometimes it feels like life is just an endless campaign. We are always seeking the next thing, the newer thing, the nicer thing, the more expensive thing. It seems we are rarely content with what we have, and always pushing for more. I believe this to be a profoundly immature worldview.

Rather, “speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” and understand that in Christ we have enough. Spiritual maturity is the assurance of wholeness, security in the promises of God that we know in Jesus and are illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Amen, Andy! Bigger is not always better. Perpetual growth in size, budget, and "influence" is not always a good thing. But I'm afraid the church has become captive to secular economic ideas that say otherwise.