Spiritual maturity does not equal conformity. I can’t remember where I first heard that, and I can’t find a source for it on the Internet (oh Google, how you have failed me), but it is a cornerstone of my world view. God creates each and every one of us to be unique. And while spiritually mature people will share characteristics (just as human adults share traits), they should also show a wonderful variety of gifts, values, and passions.
You have been made for many purposes, and the best route to pleasing God is to find the best fit for your gifts and abilities. When I provide spiritual direction, I generally recommend the same actions over and over, knowing that each client will demonstrate a new and wonderful result from those actions.
So what are some shared traits of the spiritually mature? I don’t claim to be an expert, but here are the activities I participate in and recommend to my clients.
- Time spent in contemplative prayer. Prayer is not a one way conversation: you have to spend time listening to God as well as speaking to Her.
- Time spent in self-reflection. Healthy psychology is all about changing yourself, rather than taking on the impossible task of changing others. Healthy spirituality is about recognizing your own sins rather than focusing on the sins of others.
- Time spent in the Bible. This is more than just knowing Bible trivia: it’s about seeking a deeper understanding of this wild and wonderful document.
What do you see as common traits of the spiritually mature?