Good fruit needs to ripen
By James Washington
Special to the Outlook from NNPA
As someone who came to Christ as an 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 it relates to faith and the knowledge of the truth of God’s existence. The knowledge I’m talking about is the experience of one’s growth in knowing God’s Word. Just like it did as you grew into adulthood, your behavior starts to be dictated by your experiences. In other words, your decisions are guided by what you know. For the mature Christian, one’s faith is easily expressed in words. However, now your deeds, your actions now have parameters set in the stone of truth and your experiences of faith; your testimony. So the more you know about God’s Word and God’s Will, the more responsive you become about what you do, don’t do, say, don’t say etc.
Forgiveness is an example of what I’m talking about. The more you accept the truth of Christ in your life, the likely you’ll be to forgive those who have trespassed against us. You see a mature Christian knows if you don’t forgive your enemies, God might just have a problem, forgiving us. It’s not always easy and at times it is downright impossible to shake the “I want revenge” gene. But, how dare you not at least undertake the notion of forgiveness, when the ultimate sacrifice was paid to forgive you? Some people refer to this as knowing that you know that you know. It’s a process and like every process, it takes time to get it right. Maturity, maturing does take time and results in appropriate habitual action; the kind of action that frequently challenges me. After all, it ain’t always easy to do the right thing. But for the maturing Christian, it’s your faith that gently lets you know what the right thing is and, subsequently, what to do next and in all situations and circumstances. The more mature you become in your faith, the more evident it becomes in your behavior.
Now the kicker for me is when your maturity readily surfaces in what goes on in your mind; what you think. This is where I often find myself these days, hanging out with me. I have to admit I am now a proponent of; you indeed are what you think. I believe faith moves mountains. And as I attempt to move mine, I’ll prayerfully be living proof about that mustard seed thing. Believe me. I’m working on it.
May God bless and keep you always,