The Definition of Christian Maturity

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp

A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People


“The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation.” (p. 51)

We often confuse knowledge with obedience.  However knowledge is not the same as character or obedience.  Furthermore, obedience cannot always be articulated.  Obedience is by definition action oriented.  And yet many of us including myself are under the false belief that you don’t really know something unless you can explain it or talk about it.  I have wrestled with this personally for many years.  In fact, because I believed this, there was a pressure I constantly lived under to be able to communicate everything I read and learned; every concept, idea, and bit of information.  If I couldn’t tell someone what I learned I must not know it the way I thought.  This proved to be a wearisome task and with every failed attempt I believed I wasn’t growing, learning, and developing.  But what God helped me to realize is that like so many things in life, character and wisdom is often caught not taught.  Since we as Believers who have the Holy Spirit are living epistles who embody and walk out God laws because they are written on our hearts, we do not have to be preoccupied to the point of frustration and insecurity that if we cannot recall or communicate something we’ve learned or read, that is not the sign of maturity though it may be a sign.  If our reading and knowledge gathering results in living them out haven’t I really learned?  I’m inclined to think that when Jesus echoed the Old Testament verse “these people (referring to the children of Israel) honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” that he had this principle in mind that transformation is more important than information.  Jesus was essentially saying that many of us talk a good game but our words are hollow and lack the substance which is backed by our life.   There is a proverb that states, “Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent.”  Are we satisfied with our obedience and see it as most glorifying and honoring to God, or do we constantly feel a tugging to broadcast what we know to prove to ourselves and others that we know God?  Jesus said that if we love him we would obey his commands.  Have you considered the fact that knowledge will pass away (1 Cor. 13) and that faith, hope, and love will remain?  Are we pursuing that which is temporary and will one day cease or that which will endure into eternity?



535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles