UV 2731/10000 The Marks of Maturity
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
2 Timothy 3 v 10
Paul writing a letter to Timothy, bishop of the early church and his mentee, emphasizes that he had known doctrinal truth, lifestyle, purpose, extent of faith, patience, endurance and love of people as lived by Paul. These are the basic traits of a testimonial life. We should learn sound doctrinal truth not as traditions practiced by people but as taught by the Lord Himself and practiced by the early church fathers. Like St Luke and Paul, we too should have a full understanding of the basic doctrinal truths. These truths are meant to perfect us and make us mature followers of Jesus, not someone who can be pushed over easily by the enemy or deceived by his agents on earth. Our lives should mirror the truths we have learnt in the Word. We should not only be continually hearing and learning the truths but continually examining ourselves, applying and correcting ourselves in the light of these doctrinal truths.
We must be people not driven by our personal ambitions but by our sense of purpose and dedication to the Lord. We do all things for the glory of the Lord and for dispensing hope to all mankind. We need to pray globally and act locally to improve things around us. Our faith will be strengthened as we increase in our knowledge of the Lord and our application of it in the experiences we encounter in the course of our lives. We need to be prepared mentally, emotionally and spiritually to endure much hardship and suffering as we live by faith.
The uni-verse also exhorts us to be full of love and compassion for others. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “love is patient and kind.” We need to be patient and kind to others even as we are exacting and demanding of our own selves. When all these marks of the apostle St Paul are in us, we too will be mature and effective in our faith and in the practical outworking or expression of our faith. Many of these traits are a result or fruit of the joint responsibility of the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and our own response, sincere and committed to allow or welcome the change He brings in us as we follow Jesus.
Prateep V Philip