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Daily Reading: Job 4:1-7:21 ESV, 1 Corinthians 14:18-40 ESV, Psalm 37:30-40 ESV, Proverbs 21:27 ESV

Daily Verse: “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” (1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV)

TELEIOS (5046): “Brought to its end, finished.  As an adjective means “complete, perfect,” men full grown, adult, of full age, mature.  One how is teleious has attained the moral end for which he was intended, namely to be a man in Christ.”[i]

Moral end.

Mature thinking requires self-awareness.  Paul doesn’t want the Corinthians controlled by evil motives but instead to stop and think about their actions.  Adults don’t allow emotions to manage them.  Age doesn’t define maturity, but actions do.

Giving a tennis lesson to a challenging twelve-year-old, he didn’t like to receive instructions.  Apologizing for his argumentative demeanor, he explained the condition that caused him to act as he did and techniques to control the behavior.  A self-aware child who spent time in therapy, my student acted more mature than some adults. 

Impulse control varies from person to person.  I have an umbrella that attaches to lawn chairs, providing shade while outdoors.  Only having used the contraption once, I bought it impulsively because Costco merchandises well.  Ron, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same issue.  Less susceptible to perfect product placement, hubby rarely makes impulse purchases.

Controlled behavior.

Spiritually mature people control their behavior, responding as Jesus would instead of as they would like.  One must spend time getting to know Christ to understand how He reacts.  Reading about Jesus in the scriptures, talking about Him with others, and studying the Bible will help you get to know Jesus; when you do, you will find your actions changing.

To become more mature, we must practice actively pursuing a relationship with God, then do what Jesus did.  Mimicking Jesus means learning to forgive others and loving them unconditionally as Christ does.  Unhealthy people require more distant boundaries to love them well. 

Applying Jesus’s teaching to your life will make you more self-aware.  Taking the plank out of your eye before attacking the splinter in someone else’s will help you forgive.  And accepting the unconditional love from above will motivate you to find ways to share it with those around you.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 248) Thomas Nelson

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