Someone asked me to describe “a mature follower of Jesus.” Here’s my attempt at that:
Christianity’s about exchanging self-life for Christ-life. It’s about replacing self-focus with Christ-focus.
A full follower of Jesus can boldly testify along with Paul, “the energy (of) Christ so powerfully works in me.” A mature Christ-followers pays attention to and quickly obeys the inner promptings of Jesus and thus vividly demonstrates the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit in day-to-day life. Fully mature Christians continually let the living Jesus melt their will and mold it into His. They align their lifestyle and beliefs to the living Jesus, not to the world or to their own desires.
I search the living and the dead for mature Christians. I find many mature Christians in writings from the past–from Watchman Nee to Augustine, From Mother Teresa to John Wesley, from the Catholic mystics to the Orthodox writers in the Philokalia, from the Quakers to the Anabaptists. I’ve also been blessed to know many mature Christ-followers in the flesh–people sold out to the living resurrected Jesus. Throughout the week my wife and I connect with many mature disciples of Jesus who come from various backgrounds and traditions.
The measure of Christian maturity is not in “enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstrations” of the living resurrected Jesus in and through humble, surrendered lives. If you want a measurement, how about: How well does a person live out the teachings of Jesu daily life and “consider others better than” themselves? How “poor in spirit,” “mournful,” “meek,” “hungry for God,” “merciful,” “pure in heart,” “peacemaking,” and “persecuted” are people?