At some level, we all want to grow in maturity.
And if you're a follower of Jesus, then the desire for growth is practically baked into your resurrected-life-DNA.
We desire to grow because our destination as Christians is to become more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 3:10).
So how do we know if we're growing?
While there is more than one way to gauge maturity, here's one that we would do well to notice.
Grief and Gratitude
St. Paul knew how to hold the extremes of life together (2 Corinthians 6:4-10).
And in one phrase, Paul provides a powerful litmus test for our maturity — "...sorrowful, yet always rejoicing..." (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Maturity looks like a growing capacity to hold both grief and gratitude in open hands.
Living in Extremes
Too often, we live in extremes.
A life bent primarily toward grief gravitates toward:
An obsession over the past.
Hopelessness for the future.
An overemphasis on one's suffering, failings, or sins.
Feelings of powerlessness and a lack of agency in one's life.
A life bent primarily toward gratitude gravitates toward:
An obsession over what positive experience is next.
Denial of past suffering, failings, or sins.
An overemphasis on one's strengths and abilities.
An unrealistic view of how much control one has in life.
A Balanced Life
Holding both grief and gratitude together tempers our lives, keeping us from extremes. Grief and gratitude become guardrails on our journey toward Christ.
Which defines your posture toward life right now — grief or gratitude?
Are you avoiding one and overemphasizing the other?
Why do you think that is?
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