I was discussing a theory I have with a friend that maturity is truly non-existent. Maturity seems to be a delusional state of belief that we have somehow evolved beyond the behavior of who we were at a younger age. This delusion is something I have recently become disillusioned to, that is that I am disappointed in myself and no longer can reconcile my behavior with the concept that experience and wisdom has a direct correlation with our ability to transcend childish behavior. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Thus, while we can put aside our childish behavior, we can never truly evolve beyond it; it's always there.
Maturity is a daily decision we make about what direction our life is going towards. We can make a choices that will hurt the overall outcome in life for us, or we can make choices that will benefit ourselves. Some may see a neutral area that doesn't seem to be either black or white, but I say that those choices could be small in impact or the effects thereof are yet to be seen and we are simply to linear to understand the implications of our actions. Of course there are always choices that have such a small impact on our lives that we fail to see their significance. I choose to drop of piece of garbage on the street as opposed to the trash can down the block may not result in a group of black suits looking for me, but it may be the first step in a series of choices that lead me to become a habitual litterer. Becoming aware of these small impact choices and their implications for future choices is essential for true maturity.
The past few months have been a real awakening to me. I thought I had achieved a greater level of maturity, and yet I have made some very childish behavioral choices that are so unlike the man I thought myself to be. Knowing many people who, whether they are willing to admit it themselves or not, have displayed similar regressions; I am led to conclude that maturity is not something achieved. Maturity as we have previously known it to be is delusional practice of self-deception that leads us to believe we are somehow better than the person who we were in some prior period of time. I propose that true maturity is a daily series of choices that make a positive influence on your life and on the lives of those around you. It could be said, however that the maturity concept we understand only needs to be modified to say that maturity is the point in which those daily choices for positive living have become habit. If that is your definition of maturity then it is more intellectually honest than the belief that experience, wisdom, and age have a direct correlation with behavioral patterns.
I don't write this to show off some great epiphany as indication of some ascendance to a higher plane of thinking or living. I've simply become more acutely aware of reality and what it means for maturity. I have yet to truly implement positive living choices for myself. Granted, I think half the battle was in realizing that maturity is not a sure thing, but if I wish to complete this then I can't leave it half baked. Now I must make choices that will have a greater positive influence than negative. I've got a lot of choices to make, but I pray that with the Holy Spirit as my helper that I could it all in Christ's name.