Distracted Maturity: Unstable Enablement
Updated: Apr 21, 2018
Recently, there was an article that appeared on our social media news feed that was encouraging folks to re-evaluate their friendships. With all of the thoughts lately on embracing true maturity, it seemed to be a tempting read that may provide some insight. Although much of what was listed were simply common-sense "traits" of "bad" friends, one particularly emphasized instruction stuck out. The author stated, and re-stated, that "bad" friends are judgmental, and give criticism when you have goals or ideas. She stated that, you need to "only spend your time with other sparkling stars." "Sparkling stars" being people who think, do, and say the same things as you. Any contrast is to be eliminated in the desire for self-aggrandizement and self-affirmation. This is neither a healthy view of interpersonal relationships, nor a model for living a wise life. Rather, A mark of Biblical maturity is ensuring that any advice or instruction you welcome in the "meditation zone" is not simply beneficial, but more importantly, Biblical. We must surround ourselves with people that hold not to our values and ideas, but to the BIBLE's values and ideas. A verse comes to mind in response to the statement above:
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."
- Proverbs 27:6
It is becoming more and more apparent that one of the defining markers of our generation's lack of true maturity is not merely an infatuation with tech, but a refusal to allow any kind of discourse or instruction contrary to one's personal preferences and philosophies. It is no wonder that culture is fraying at the seams! As people recuse themselves into peer groups of ideologies, society fractures, and inevitably clashes. Thankfully, the Bible gives us instruction with regards to a spiritual, healthy view of relationships and seeking counsel in James three:
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." - James 3:17
We will look more closely at this verse next week, but the maturity measurement for this week is this. Am I willing to admit that I may not know all there is to know on a given issue? Am I willing to search the Scriptures and study the facts, with a humble heart, determined to ensure that I am holding a Biblical philosophy of life and/or world-view? Do I really know why I believe what I believe, and what is my standard of truth for determining that philosophy or belief system? These are all deep questions, that deserve meditative answers, but there was a special group of folks that were commended in the Scriptures for having just this sort of mindset:
"and the bretheren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
- Acts 17: 10-11
When the Lord evaluates our Spiritual maturity, would He say of us that we too are noble in our humility and hunger for truth?
Today's Bible Reading:
James 3:1-18 KJV
 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.  Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though [they be] so great, and [are] driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet [water] and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so [can] no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but [is] earthly, sensual, devilish.  For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.