"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things."
-1 Corinthians 13:11
After suffering a major upset at home to Oral Roberts University early in the season, the young Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball team bounced back to knock off the No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Florida Gators 82-80 in overtime. "We showed a lot more maturity tonight than we have in our prior games," said KU coach Bill Self. Sophomore Julian Wright, who scored a career-high 21 points in the win, added, "We should welcome this tension to help us become better players."
In Scripture, the writer of the book of Hebrews challenged his readers on the issue of maturity (Hebrews 5:11-14). There are two points that are made in this passage that can help us identify maturity: (1) mature people are growing people (v.12), and (2) mature people have moral integrity (v.14).
On the first point, the writer says that these people should be at a point where they are teaching others about God, but they still haven't gotten the basics down. In order to grow athletically and spiritually we have to master the basics and then continue to build upon that foundation by challenging ourselves. We will not mature if we only compete against weaker opponents. As the saying goes, "If you're not moving forward, you're going backward." On the second point, mature people have not only been trained to know what is right, but also to do what is right. Their outward behavior lines up with their inward beliefs.
Maturity isn't as much of an age issue as it is a behavioral issue, so don't ever stop seeking new ways to challenge yourself to grow and to display moral integrity in all aspects of life, that you may be "mature and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:4).
1. How are you challenging yourself to grow as a competitor? As a Christian?
2. On a scale of 1-10, how strong is your moral integrity? How could this be improved?
3. How can you lead your team in becoming more mature as a group?