When people contact us here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center, most of the time their life is in serious distress.  Chaos is ruling and reigning in their life. Maturity issues are generally caused by living for our lusts, James 4:1-10, From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

In my Bible reading recently I read as my first passage, Proverbs 22:1, A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor (God’s favor) rather than silver and gold. This is a powerful verse especially since it is in the same context of Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old; he will not depart from it.

As I was meditating on the verses, I broke down Proverbs 22:1. What do people think about when they think about your name?  “A good name is chosen“.  You choose it by your obedience to God’s Word.  Are you unfaithful, emotion led, dishonest, don’t pay your bills, money hungry, angry, etc? When people observe your life what do they see that you have chosen?  You will choose maturity or immaturity. Do they see a person who makes wise spiritual decisions and chooses a good name and did you notice “favor“?  If you choose to make God’s priorities your priorities (which are spiritual priorities), you will have God’s favor in their life.  Otherwise not, and chaos, not spiritual favor will follow your life and your children’s lives.  By the way, this is the parent who is angry that their children choose not to follow God when they grow up. The children are not handling life spiritually and wisely as adults, and for the parents, “the rod of their anger failed“, Proverbs 22:8. They don’t understand why their children have chosen the things they have?  Anger is a spiritual maturity issue, Ephesians 4:29-32, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all (means someone has to make a decision) bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour (public quarreling), and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

When people look at you, do they see a person who has chosen poor things in their life?  My first choice has to be, to be faithful to what I know God’s Word teaches.

So, is money more important than choosing a good name?  Faithful testimony?

I made a decision a long time ago, that I wanted a faithful testimony and chose to have God’s favor.  I taught my children, Sunday is the Lord’s Day and we as a family will be faithful. We will not defile the Lord’s Day for money, notice in the Proverbs 22:1 (silver and gold) or, anything else. If I choose to defile the Lord’s Day I will not have God’s favor and it will affect my children’s spiritual life. It is a deceived person or parent who chooses such and it sadly comes back to get them and their children.

Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; (destruction) but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Pretty plain and yet so many choose the flesh over the Spirit and their name shows an unfaithful testimony without the favor of God in their life.  Remember folks you are what you choose and your life shows it.

Philippians, 3:13-14,  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  How are you handling your maturity today?  Think about the following questions and it will be helpful.  I always tell people when they are honest with God in answering these questions it will help them to see the need to change some maturity issues in their life.

1.  Are you pressing forward today to glorify God in all areas of your life?

2.  Are you forgetting those things that are behind (not acting like a baby or a child)?

3.  Do you say negative things to others because you want them to drop down to your level and be critical or negative with you?

4.  Are you constantly probing into others’ lives for things you can tell other people about them?

5. Are your feelings easily hurt and then you are critical of others?

6.  Are you jealous or envious when others are growing in the Lord and God’s blessing is upon their life, while seeking to justify your poor spiritual decisions in your life?

7.  Do you have spiritual priorities in your life?

8.   Is your life dictated by carnal activity at the expense of others?

9.  Are you inconsistent, stating you will do something but never getting it done?  Many people are consistent at being inconsistent!

10.  Are you successful at making excuses and being unfaithful?

11. Are you spending meaningful time in God’s Word on a daily basis allowing God to speak to you?

12.  Do you give to the Lord on a faithful and regular basis?

13.  Do you care about lost people and make an effort to participate to reach them consistently?

14.  Do you get angry at spiritual leaders when they give you wise counsel and make statements like, “No one is going to tell me what to do?”  Then make carnal decisions because of it? Proverbs 12:15, The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.   

How you answer these questions will help you to determine if you have spiritual maturity issues in your life.  Don’t live like a lost person, not growing and being a negative, emotion led person.  Control what you think by the power of the Holy Spirit, rejoice in the Lord, and you will be growing and an encourager to others instead of a discourager.  Our goal is to help people grow at all costs and encourage them to do so.

Stop and meditate on the above issues ask God to show you the truth about you in the material above. Remember there are warnings here from God’s Word.  Chaos rules and reigns in a person’s life who lives by their lusts, Romans 6:10-22 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Folks, our goal is to glorify God by being a servant and having a servant’s heart.  In Romans 6:10-22 go through this passage and see how many times it says lust or lust. And how many times it says servant or servants.  An immature person lives for their lusts.  A godly person lives as a servant to glorify God with their life.

Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth the word (does not give proper attention to) shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. We see this destruction all around us.