OK moms and dads, how do you know your kids are mature? (And you can’t say “They act like it.” What are their actions?)
OK employers, how do you know your employees and coworkers are mature?
OK, members of a team, small group, subcommittee, how do you know your group is mature?
Not known for mincing words, Paul was pretty clear with the Ephesians about how they would demonstrate their maturity.
And it wasn’t by keeping their hands to themselves, being polite in public, or remembering to send a birthday card. All of those are lovely, but they don’t get at the heart of maturity.
The maturity of a group is seen in their unity. Don’t you wish it was tied to giving birthday cards? Or eating ice cream without making a mess? Or anything else that didn’t tie me to you? I can buy a birthday card without needing to rely on you at all and shine like a new penny, thank you very much.
But when signs of my maturity is tied to YOU, now we are getting into murky water because let’s face it, you are prone to disappointing people. You’re also prone to blow it, lose your temper, exaggerate what you’ll do, and back out when you’re tired. Oh wait, me too.
We long to be mature, to pull our weight, to work together. I truly believe that we don’t set out to undermine each other, to sew discord or disunity, but we do. Again and again and again.
Unity is not blind conformity where we lack opinions. But it does require us to, as Paul said, put away our childish ways and lean hard into the Grace of Christ and work together.
A palpable power exists on a Sunday afternoon as I join the swarms entering Mile High for a Denver Broncos game. Decked out in out in Orange and Blue, aiming for a common goal (winning), and joining in an activity that can’t be pulled off alone, there is a sense of unity with my fellow humanity. We love our team. We will cheer them on. We will defend them when unjustly accused of pass interference. We will stomp our feet and high-five. And if they lose, we will show up the next week and do it all over again.
This is a pale example of the unity that waits for us. But unity reminds us that Eden was, is, and will be a place of community and maybe, just maybe we’ll all be given an orange and blue jersey when we finally arrive!
All the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, subscribe now. I am enjoying the journey together. Amy