27To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:27-29
Growing up! There is so much that goes into it growing up. In our journey to maturity most of us experience the childhood, teen, and adulthood journey to maturity. It goes like this: dependence, independence, interdependence. To be a mature adult is to be a person who is able to carry their own load and to share their load and the load of others in relationships of interdependence. Yes, maturity in Christ does that for us relationally with other people as we develop good boundaries and learn to love well.
However, maturity in Christ does NOT venture away from dependence on God. Rather, maturity in Christ is the struggle to move by way of repentance toward God and into belief on Jesus Christ our Lord so we can be fully IN the communion of God through the grace of Jesus. Paul says he labours and agonizes for Christ-ian maturity. Disciple-makers yearn for Christ-like maturity in the lives of the people with whom God has connected them.
Our hyper-individualism in the West definitely works against us sometimes when it comes to maturing as a Christian. We act like “spirituality” is a simple individual pursuit. But that would be counter to the ways of Jesus. While there is much for the individual to do there is also much that we will never “become” in Christ if we are not sharing the venture in the community of believers called church.
I’m so glad through the years that God has blessed me with men and women who followed Jesus and invested their lives in my growth. Someday, well even today, I believe you can be this kind of person “labouring-for-maturity-in-Christ-person” to another growing follower of Jesus!