Maturity: How Does One Measure It?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In my lifetime I have been around a lot of people, as I have moved around quite a bit. I have seen lots of different personalities both young and old. They all have their own level of maturity. Some that are old have their times of acting like a teenager and those that are young act like an older person. Depending on the context this can be good or bad. For the older person to have the vitality of a younger person is good; the younger person to have the rigidness of an older person is bad. However, there is the other side of the coin, in that an older person to throw a fit like a teen would do, is bad. For a younger person to have patience and a level-headed demeanor is good.

What is the most scary is when you have an older person that believes they are mature just because they are older. When they expect, or should I say, demand to be respected because of their age, but their demeanor is very immature.

I have seen this in a couple of areas. One is in the church. The other is in sports. I will comment after you read this week's quote...
Maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated. ~ Unknown
The church has become, in many respects, a "me church" attitude. Whatever the individual wants or deems pertinent should be done. Sometimes when something is done that is not what the person deems important, they start to complain, gossip, or just leave. Much like a child on a playground who didn't get their way with the game that was being played. Examples of this could be the direction a church is taking, leadership, worship issues, teaching styles, or decor issues.

In sports, I've had experiences as a fan, player and as an official. I have seen people who can coach and officiate so much better than the coach or official, or so they think. One of the main issues is with people who have "played" the game so long that they "must" know all the rules. But they have never really opened a rule book and read it front to back. Did you know there is not a rule in baseball/softball that "tie goes to the runner?" However, everyone likes to throw that out there - I still don't know where that came from - maybe the playground?

I remember having to stop a little league baseball game, in a rural town, just to go to my car and retrieve the rule book to show a coach he was in error. It wasn't my choice, I asked him because he didn't believe me on the field. Of course, he was probably twice as old as I was, at that time, as I had just graduated from high school the previous May. Though he was older, he didn't show the patience and maturity to let the game go, instead he wanted to try to prove he was correct. Whether I am a fan, player or official, I have seen people get upset over coach's decisions, player's inability to perform, and an official's "blown" call.

Within the quote are two important phrases to keep in mind. One, experiences will help people mature. Two, learning from those experiences is key. You take the learning out and the experience means nothing. You learn little from the experience. The gain is little. Learn much - the gain is much.

I am challenged in many areas with this quote. Probably one of the greatest challenges for me is handling conflict with my wife. I know a lot, but if I don't apply the things I know, I haven't learned much. So, as I become grayer through the years, if I lack learning, my maturity will just be skin deep.

Now it's your turn. How have you seen this quote played out in yourself? Others?
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This entry was posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at Thursday, September 22, 2011 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .
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2 comments

Lynn Hare  

Jarrod, this was a great blog! I think about maturity all the time.

What did experiences teach me? Stay humble. Keep your head in the game. Listen to other people, especially those who are shy. It's ok to rely on others when you can't pull it off yourself.

How did I learn those things? From speaking out of pride and seeing how hurtful that was to people. From focusing on my own agenda and seeing how that made others feel insignificant. From interacting with only the high-talkers without taking time to hear from those who are reserved (and understood things more deeply because they observed things more carefully). From realizing that when I reach the end of my rope, I can let go, because in the free-fall, I can rely on God and others.

I figure my maturity only grows as much as I have a teachable spirit. I've blown it enough in my relationships to know that when I remain open to growing humbly, I am rendering a gift to God and to my loved ones.

September 24, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Lynn ~

Thanks for the comments!

I like this sentence..."I figure my maturity only grows as much as I have a teachable spirit."

A teachable spirit is very important. As I was reading it I thought about describing what that looks like, I see it as "workable clay." Once the clay becomes hardened, either through being left out or going through the kiln, it becomes either not as workable or unworkable.

When we let ourselves dry out or become "set" through the kilns of life, we are no longer possessing a "teachable spirit."

May we all remain having that type of spirit!

September 25, 2011 at 12:28 AM

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