Maturing People

As Dr. Chapman writes about words of affirmation in Chapter 2, he turns to the Bible to get example after example of God’s affirming words.

Then he gives example after example of Jesus’ affirming words.

You do know why, don’t you?

It is the crux of the message of his book, why he puts words of affirmation as an early chapter.

We have God’s word with us 24/7, 365 and the Bible is an affirming book; nevertheless I hear people who are doubters and unbelievers say “I don’t want to believe in God.  God is so strict and judgmental.  I am having fun right now and if I declare that I believe in Him, His rules will have to be followed. His rules are no fun.”

These are the words of people who don’t understand the promises of God.

Dr. Chapman uses the words of the prophet Isaiah [48: 19] to make his point that God has good plans for those who believe “If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

Christians who experience this promise of peace are Christians who believe, Christians who are interested in growth, Christians who are interested in maturing.

There is a tale of a Christian missionary who one day said to another Christian “I’m tired of working with mature people!”  His companion [a little surprised] said “Would you rather be working with immature people?”  The missionary replied, “No my preference is to work with maturing people.”

The result of following God is a peace that supersedes any thrill the doubter and unbeliever has.

It is founded on belief, belief in the affirming words of the Bible.

I have known many “professing Christians” over the years.  These folks like the label of Christian attached to their names but they suffer from what physicians or psychologists call arrested development.  Patients who suffer from physical growth or mental growth that has stopped have entered a state of arrested development.

Christians who don’t open their Bibles or avail themselves of many other ways of learning about God are in arrested development.

If we would explore our Bibles and let the Spirit of God work through the Word of God, He will take possession of our hearts and minds.  The problems that we have will be replaced by opportunities to serve others and glorify God and enjoy a new life of more peace, more peace than we ever could imagine.

I have a friend who took exception to a comment I made on his blog the other day; I did not take offense.  He just took the metaphor I used of the Christian “is a fish [no pun intended] that has to swim against the stream”.  He wanted to change it.   My context was that we have to fight the powerful stream of cultural values to live a Christian life.  He said that he would rather think of the Christian as “flowing with the stream of the Holy Spirit.”

What’s he talking about?

He’s talking about tapping into the Holy Spirit power source that is available for all of us, flowing with that stream of power and growing, delighting and enjoying doing the will of God.  His will becomes our will.  Our greatest freedom is the freedom to experience all the wonderful things that God has planned for us.

If we just make the effort to grow and mature.

If we just truly believe His affirming words.

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