10 Obvious Signs You are Not a Mature Christian

10 Obvious Signs You are Not a Mature Christian

Do you remember the day you surrendered your life to Christ? It was a special day for me; one I’ll never forget. But saying the sinner’s prayer is only the beginning of the spiritual journey, not the end. Like anything else, I have to work to cultivate and develop my spiritual life. But what if you aren’t as mature as you should be?

Unfortunately, many Christians spend the majority of their life in spiritual immaturity, rather than knowing the delight and joy of growing in their faith. But the thing about our faith is that we can’t stay stagnate. If we’re not actively working to grow more like Christ, we will inevitably begin to grow more like the world around us. In light of that, here are ten warning signs that you may not be maturing as a Christian: 

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  • 1. You are Quick to Anger

    1. You are Quick to Anger

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    Psalm 103:8 says, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” If God can be more gracious and compassionate and less angry in light of all of our sin, then we should too. Yet I often find myself flying off the handle at the littlest events. Being quick to anger means there are issues within my soul that I need to resolve. Figure out what it is that is triggering your anger and work to get rid of it. 

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  • 2. You are Sensitive to Correction

    2. You are Sensitive to Correction

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    Humility is a character trait that all Christians should work toward displaying. However, when conflict or correction arises, if your first reaction is to become defensive, you are not maturing in the faith. Ask yourself, “is there a grain of truth to what this person is saying?” If the answer is yes, work on improving yourself. If the answer is no, ignore it. Correction is a part of maturation. 

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  • 3. You Don’t Love Your Neighbor

    3. You Don’t Love Your Neighbor

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    It’s easy to love those who think and act the way you do. What is your attitude towards people who look, dress and talk differently than you? How about those who are considered poor or downtrodden? Is your first instinct to bestow compassion or to think they are getting what they deserve? The Bible is clear: if you don’t love your brother, the love of God is not in you. Work to meet the needs of those around you, regardless of others’ background or economic situation. 

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  • 4. You Don’t Use Your Spiritual Gifts

    4. You Don’t Use Your Spiritual Gifts

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    At conversion God equips us with special gifts tailored to our talents and abilities. But not using your spiritual gifts to serve the church body is like opening up a gift at Christmas and putting up in your closet to collect dust. Gifts are to be enjoyed, not hidden. Using your gifts not only benefits the receiver but also you as a giver. If you don’t know what your gifts are, search the Scriptures. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 are both good places to start. 

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  • 5. You Don’t Practice Spiritual Disciplines

    5. You Don’t Practice Spiritual Disciplines

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    Runners don’t complete marathons without training their bodies, conditioning them to go the distance. In fact, no musician, writer or artist perfects his/her craft overnight. They must discipline themselves and put in the hard work to reap the reward. It is the same with our spiritual lives. We can’t become like Christ by doing nothing. Connecting with Him through the word and prayer, along with developing self-control through fasting, silence and solitude. 

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  • 6. You Harbor Bitterness

    6. You Harbor Bitterness

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    Anger is not a sin, but left unchecked can cause bitterness to take root in our hearts. Bitterness crowds out genuine love and selflessness. Bitterness forces us to turn our eyes inward looking at ourselves rather than outward, focused on others’ needs. Bitterness separates us from God because it drives a wedge between us and the perfect love God grants us through His grace. If we have experienced love and grace of God, it is our duty to give that freely to others. 

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  • 7. You are a Slave to Fear

    7. You are a Slave to Fear

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    Fear is normal in certain situations. Fear indicates if a person or situation is safe or unsafe. But if fear has given way to anxiety, then it indicates something bigger: a lack of trust and surrender to God. It’s no mistake that God says, “do not fear” hundreds of times in the bible. The way to get past a constant state of fear is to surrender your fears to God, trusting he will take care of them (and you) according to His will. 

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  • 8. You are Not Fruitful

    8. You are Not Fruitful

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    It’s one thing to attend church, serve your community and read your Bible. But if you are not allowing what you read or hear to transform your life, it’s not worth much. Christians know each other by the amount of the fruit of the Spirit they display in their lives. Analyze your character. None of us is perfect, but if you can’t say you have increased in kindness, gentleness, peace, etc., from year to year, you are not yielding fruit that is benefiting others, but rather allowing the little fruit you are producing to wither on the vine. 

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  • 9. You are Not a Part of a Community

    9. You are Not a Part of a Community

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    In Genesis 2, God said “It is not good for man to be alone.” From Genesis to Revelation, every person is in community with others. Even God is not alone, but rather is triune, working in tandem with His Son and the Holy Spirit. Being a part of a community helps keep us accountable and gives us the courage to become better people. 

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  • 10. You are Not Making Disciples

    10. You are Not Making Disciples

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    In Matthew 13:8, Jesus warns that only the seed that falls on good soil will yield a good crop: “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Not only are we to tell the world about Jesus, but as we grow, we are to invest in others and equip them to make disciples. In today’s consumerist culture, however, it is easy to sit in a pew every Sunday, listen to a sermon and go home without ever making an impact on anyone’s life. Applying the knowledge you learn on Sunday is the quickest way to become more like Christ. Information doesn’t lead to transformation but application, however does. 

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    Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year and the Enduring Light Silver Medal, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Her first book with Leafwood Publishers, An Invitation to the Table, came out September 2016. She also teaches at various writers' workshops, such as the Montrose Christian Writers conference. She and her husband live in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, with their two children, Caleb and Leah. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.