By Pete Scazzero
Are you a mature Christian? Why are so many Christians judgmental, unaware and defensive? Part of the answer lies in a failure to biblically integrate emotional health and spiritual maturity.
A vast industry exists around emotional intelligence that ignores spirituality. A vast amount of information also exists that defines a “mature” Christian. Rarely are the two integrated.
The following are 11 signs of an emotionally mature Christian:
- You anchor your life in the love of Jesus. You don’t divide your life into “secular” and “sacred” compartments. Instead, you rather enjoy communion with Him in all areas of your life—work, recreation, church and parenting. Toward that end, you regularly practice spiritual disciplines (e.g., meditation on Scripture, silence, solitude, community, confession, worship) to position yourself to practice His presence all throughout the day.
- You break the power of the past. You can identify how issues from your family of origin (e.g., character flaws, ways of coping with pain) impact your current relationships and decisions. As a result, you are reflective and open to feedback from trustworthy sources in order to minimize the negative impact of your past and live freely in the new family of Jesus.
- You listen to your anger, sadness and fear. You take the necessary time to experience and process these “difficult” emotions. Thus, you are able to express anger, hurt and sadness in ways that lead to growth in others and yourself.
- You slow down for Sabbath. You regularly set aside a 24-hour period in which you stop your work and practice Sabbath—setting a healthy limit around your paid and unpaid work. This rhythm of stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating God informs the structure of your week.
- You recognize your brokenness and vulnerability. People experience you as approachable, gentle, open and transparent. This is evidenced by the way you receive criticism without becoming defensive. You easily admit when you’re wrong and freely talk about your weaknesses, failures and mistakes.
- You live out of your marriage or singleness. Your highest priority is to invest time and energy to build a healthy marriage or singleness that reveals Christ’s love to the church and the world. Why? You know the quality and integrity of your marriage or singleness is the most important gospel message you preach. It is a sign and wonder that points people to Christ.
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Source: Church Leaders