Being Transformed from the Inside Out

By Keith Miller | July 19, 2010

Keith, I’ve recently come back to church. Rather, a good way to put it is I’ve found a church that explains Christianity in a way that makes more sense than what I got out of church when I was young.  The service I’ve been going to is designed for people who are searching, as I was.  But now I feel like I’m ready to grow, and I’m wondering what “spiritual” maturity would be.  I’m very confused about this and would appreciate any help you can give me.

It’s great that you’ve found a place where some of your spiritual questions are being explored, and even answered.  As far as “spiritual” maturity goes, I’m not really sure what it is.  But there are some behaviors and attitudes that seem to me to indicate a person has begun to allow God to transform his or her life and become more mature.

For instance, as God’s transformative process begins to take place, many people seem to be able to see and take responsibility for their own sins and mistakes.  Once they identify them, they confess them to God and make whatever restitution is helpful (and not destructive) to those they have hurt or wronged.  Most of us blame other people, “explain ourselves,” and try to get out of admitting our own sins.

Also it seems to me that those who appear to be spiritually mature don’t seem to have to get credit for the good things they do for others.  They seem to find time to help and encourage people with real needs and pains, whereas most of us are too busy to help people much of the time and when we do we expect credit and gratitude for being helping persons.

Another indicator for me is that spiritually mature people seem to have the ability to face openly the doubts and uncertainties about God and about what his will is, while continuing to live and act in faith.  I’ve often been afraid even to admit that I don’t know where I am going or what God’s will is much of the time—even as a professional, but I find myself being more loving and less defensive.

I see spiritual maturity in people who face tragedy or failure with their real feelings of anger and grief and then try to learn through the circumstances rather than wallow in self-pity and accusation.

They are more and more able to face the faults and sins of the people around them without being judgmental and condemning them—even if the other peoples’ behavior is not something they approve and is something they would condemn in themselves.

Although I could list many other traits which might indicate spiritual maturity, I think some of them can be summed up by saying that a spiritually mature person might be willing to surrender his or her whole life to God and want to do God’s will in every area of his or her life—not for what the person can get but simply because he or she loves God and is grateful for the love, life and forgiveness God has given.

Dear Lord, thank you that you love me just as I am—but when I try to surrender my whole life to you and am willing, you allow me to see and confess my self-centeredness and hurtful behavior that come from wanting my own will instead of yours.  Help me to “grow up” into the authentically loving and caring person I believe you made me to be—who doesn’t have to be right or in control of other people and the situations we share.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him…[so]…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out…[and let] God bring the best out of you.”  Romans 12:1 The Message

Topics: Christian Living, Weekly Devotional | Comments Off on Being Transformed from the Inside Out
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