by James Washington
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
As someone who has come to Christ as a hopefully mature adult, I’m challenged from time to time as ministers and bible study leaders and others of faith talk about the process of becoming a mature Christian. The challenge is in knowing what it means to mature as a person and applying some of those same principles to the maturation process as they relate to faith and knowledge. Faith as a concept is pretty easy to understand. The knowledge I’m speaking about accompanies the experience of knowing God’s word. As such, just like a mature adult, your behavior is most assuredly dictated by your experience, your knowledge. In other words your decisions are affected and guided by what you know. For the mature Christian, your faith is easily expressed in words. However, your deeds, your actions now have parameters set in stone due to the experience of faith.
So the more you know about God’s word and God’s will, the more responsive you become in what you do, don’t do, say, don’t say etc. Forgiveness for instance is an example of what I’m talking about. The more you accept the truth of Christ in your life, the more mandatory it becomes to forgive those who have in some way ‘trespassed’ against you. You see a mature Christian knows if you don’t forgive your enemies, God will not forgive you. How dare you not at least undertake the notion of forgiveness when Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice so we all could be forgiven!
Some people refer to this as knowing that you know that you know. It is a process however. It does take time. Maturity requires action and it is this action that I’m saying challenges me more often than not. It is not always easy to do the right thing. But for the mature Christian, it is purely a matter of knowledge that easily lets you know what the right thing is. It’s what you’re supposed to do in all situations and circumstances. The more mature you become in your faith, the more evident it becomes in your behavior. However, I think you pass the real test when your maturity readily surfaces in what you think. The thought process of the mature Christian is where I find myself these days. I guess you can say I am now a proponent of ‘you are what you think.’ I believe faith does move mountains. And as I start to move mine, I’ll be living proof of what they say about mustard seeds. Believe me. I’m working on it every day.
May God bless and keep you always.