Maturity is a trait that in some, seems to be relative only to the reaching of a certain age, when that number rolls around, we grant these individuals the right to now enjoin in certain functions of society that was heretofore not available to them.
There is no test for maturity, there are those items that we must study for and then pass with the appropriate number of correctly answered questions that will then allow us to participate with others who have also accomplished the same deed, driving a car, operating certain equipment, but for others, that in and of themselves are much more involved, there are no tests of abilities, one simply needs to reach a certain age before they are legally allowed to drink alcohol, there are no tests of maturity to bear children, and age restrictions upon this are based only on the perceived notion of those who deem themselves to be mature.
Age does not bring maturity, it may bring experience and knowledge, but these are not the signs of a mature individual, nor sadly does the ability to love. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Cor. 13:2) Even in the perspective of the Scriptures, love, whether it is an action or an emotion, does not indicate the maturity of an individual, though it is one character trait of the born-again believer that should set us apart from the lost.
In the world’s eyes, beyond knowledge, is the sign of a mature individual, a man who has deductive reasoning skills, who has not only the ability to see and understand many situations and the possible consequences surrounding the actions or inactions taken in relationship to them, but is able to expound on this knowledge in such a way as to benefit the hearer. These individuals are looked up to, they are admired, we set them in some of the highest positions of authority, yet they do not have anything more than the wisdom of the world, (1 Cor. 3:19) the wisdom of man, by default then, wisdom, at least in part, is a sure sign of maturity. “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Cor. 9:22)
This is a way of saying that I will do as much as I can to know the ways and thoughts of men so that I can then converse with them on matters of importance. But that is where the world stops, and we should as Paul did recognize this, the wisdom of the world is not maturity, for it holds no eternal value. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Prov. 4:7)
I contend that there are no mature men outside of Christ, I contend that without the knowledge of the Most High, without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, one in which we recognize in humility His Sovereign leadership, a man cannot be mature. “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” (Prov. 15:33) The mature man does not seek honor, and he will refute it each time it is attempted to be placed upon him, all glory is to go to God. This man understands John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” He finds no displeasure in it, he seeks not his own, and as such becomes honorable in the only place that he seeks it, in the eyes of the Lord.
The mature man understands grace, and accepts it, knowing full well that he is not worthy of it, he understands he is but dust, (Psalm 103:14) but purposes every moment to set his face like a flint. He can find no strength in himself, but walks with the confidence that he can do all things through Christ. (Phil. 4:13)
You will not find many mature men these days, and they are most definitely not going to point themselves out to you, but when you meet them, you will recognize them, they exude the confidence that can only come from the firm conviction that He who has sent them will complete what He has sent them to do, they fear not you or any other man, they cannot be broken.
The world is a lie, there is no confidence in it, it is immature in its ideologies, and it is not to be trusted. The mature man is the man of God who stands for God, the mature man has been crucified with Christ, and he seeks nothing for himself, but only those things that will glorify God.