“The Test of Maturity is Character”
by Rick Warren
“Do not merely listen to what the word says and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
James 1:22 (NIV)
James says it is self-deception when we don’t merely listen to God’s Word and don’t let it change us. We think that just gaining knowledge makes us spiritually mature. The test of maturity is not knowledge. The test of maturity is character. A lot of people have great Bible knowledge but they are spiritual midgets.
We need to put God’s Word into practice. We need to continually apply it in our lives.
In fact, knowledge increases responsibility. The more we know, the more we’re accountable for. What am I doing about what I know? Jesus said, “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells the story of the wise and the foolish builders. He says the foolish builder builds on sand. He is like the guy who hears the Word of God but doesn’t do what it says. The wise man is the one who hears it and then goes out and makes an honest attempt to apply God’s Word in his life.
Jesus said John 13:17, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIV) I think the simplest definition of maturity is to be a doer of the word. You do what the Bible says. We must not only read the Word, we must heed the Word.
Every single one of us knows more spiritual truth than we’re putting into practice right now. We don’t need to know more, we already know enough. We just need to put into practice what we already know. Be a doer of the Word.