September 01, 2012

Maturity and Balance

Ephesians 4:1-16

[Becoming] mature … we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by … deceitful scheming.
—Ephesians 4:13-14


When I was a boy, my father would take my brothers and me fishing for porgies and sea bass off Long Island in the Atlantic Ocean. Various fishing parties would pay to go out early in the morning in what were called “party boats.”

But I can tell you that when the sea got rough, it was no party. Under those conditions I would get seasick. Being “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind” can be so miserable that the best a wretched sailor can hope for is to find oblivion in sleep.

Paul compares the life of an immature Christian to such misery.

Martin Luther, a 16th-century Reformer, compared an immature Christian to a drunken peasant who climbs onto his horse only to fall off the other side. Seasickness and drunkenness both affect a person’s sense of balance. But more pitiful than literal nausea is a faith that staggers from one foolish and mistaken idea to another.

This month we will look at biblical principles that will help build us up and give us a well-rounded, balanced faith, so that we may “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

O God, we long for the spiritual maturity that you have in store for us in Christ and that you work in us through your Spirit, in the church, the body of Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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