This month I have been thinking a lot about maturity. Wow! There is a lot I could write under such a broad theme. Ultimately, my mind settled on sharing a few words about what I call “The Five Spheres of Relational Maturity.”  Every disciple of Jesus needs to mature in their relationship with…

  1. Self,
  2. Non-Christians,
  3. Christians,
  4. God, and
  5. the Body.

The graphic below may help you better visualize how I see these relationships taking shape (yeah, I realize my graphic below uses circles, but, hey, “sphere” sounds so much cooler than “circle”).

Every day we live within these 5 relational spheres and rarely is their an intentional focus on moving toward maturity.

Did you know that your words are always influencing others?  But, how much time do you spend in a day making sure your words are having a positive influence rather than a negative one?

Most of us think about God at random times throughout our day, when things go bad, or something really wonderful happens, but do you regularly aside time to listen to God speak?

In stark contrast to the haphazard lifestyle most of us embrace, maturity is taking pleasure in each sphere of relationship while at the same time making choices to enhance each one.

  1. Maturity in relationship to Self means setting aside our rights for the sake of others, caring for ourselves in body, mind and soul, and embracing God’s commands.
  2. Maturity in relationship to Non-Christians means we create ways to make friends and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through both word and deed, to those who are lost.
  3. Maturity in relationship to Christians means we use our Giftings from the Holy Spirit to help other Christians mature in their faith.
  4. Maturity in relationship to God means we spend time listening to YHWH and learning from the Spirit of Christ who lives in us.
  5. Maturity in relationship to The Body means we explore opportunities to serve the entire church, maintain the unity of our One Faith, and grow a stronger Family of God.

That is my vision—to see people develop intentional relationships that connect each of the 5 spheres into one generous circle of relational maturity.

How do you see maturity taking place in these 5 areas of your life?

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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