For her recently passed birthday, my wife received the game “Brain Age” as a gift, and my whole family has been checking it out ever since. I personally haven’t been thrilled to discover that my brain is as old & decrepit as the rest of my body, but my younger children have loved finding out that their “brain age” is in the 70’s or 80’s. Their attitude is, “Cool! It thinks I’m an adult!” To their way of thinking, if a brain age of 30 is good, then a brain age of 80 must be awesome (which would probably be true if the game were called “Wisdom Age”).
While there isn’t (yet) a game called “Christian Age” to supposedly compute our spiritual maturity [though I wouldn’t be surprised to see such a goofy product show up in Christian bookstores at any time], the Bible does give us a fairly accurate way to measure how we’re coming along as Christians.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal.5:22-23)
This is Paul’s brief checklist of mature Christian attributes that we can use to gauge how we’re doing in our spiritual life. These aren’t laws that we must obey. They’re Paul’s way of saying, “Here’s what a fully-mature follower of Jesus looks like. Reflect on how you honestly stack up – listening to the Holy Spirit’s counsel. Then keep following Christ, ever closer, until you naturally look more-&-more like this!”
Worship – Grow – Serve