Maturity means taking responsibility for my life, all of it – my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and my decisions. Maturity also means recognizing what I do not control, what is not my responsibility. Christian maturity means taking responsibility for what I do control, recognizing what I don’t control and then trusting God with all of it. Many times we resist God’s will and blame our circumstances for why we cannot follow him. We say, “God I can’t forgive because…” and then we fill in the circumstance. Or the most common one, “God I cannot give my money at the level you ask because…”
We have two problems when we blame our circumstances for not doing God’s will – God and ourselves. We have a problem with God because we don’t really trust him. God does not command us to do something that is impossible. If God has told us to do something, if he commands something, it is possible and necessary. If God tells us to do something and we say, “Impossible, God!” we are telling him we don’t trust him. (Zachariah is struck mute for this kind of unbelief, refusing to believe God.)
Our second problem is ourselves. The problem is that we have a view of ourselves as helpless victims of our circumstances. The “helpless victim” mentality is not just on talk shows, it is rampant. I know I suffer from it. If we don’t do as God instructs, we are choosing not to follow him. We are choosing to follow money or pleasure or comfort or whatever builds up our kingdom. God has given us a responsibility for our lives and we choose whether or not we follow him.
If we want to grow and mature (not everyone does), we must be honest and real with God when we don’t like his commands. True Christian maturity requires being authentic and real with God. If we struggle to obey a teaching of Jesus Christ, we should never blame our circumstances as victims, instead we should be honest with God and ourselves and say, “God, I don’t want your will.” When we express that truth, we open ourselves up to growth, we are acting with maturity by taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions. Otherwise we are just fooling ourselves and remain immature victims. Holy Week is a great time to start growing up.