Have you ever said to someone, “Oh, grow up!”? I don’t recommend we use that tone or those words, but surely there are times when we want to take someone by the shoulder and say, “Oh, grow up!” I’m wondering if God ever wants to say those words to me?

It is vital that we measure our spiritual maturity: Are we growing up in Christ? The Apostle Paul addressed this issue of maturity as he wrote to the various churches. In Ephesians 4 he wrote that we should all “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants. . .  Instead, . . .we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:13-15).

What are some measures of our maturity? For one, our words reveal our maturity: A mature Christian is one who controls her tongue. Another measure is our motivation. What is it that motivates us to serve Christ?

King David gave a strong exhortation to his son, Solomon, who would take the throne after him. We read in 1 Chronicles 28:9:

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire [motive] and every thought.”

We can put on a good front and fool others, but we can never fool God. He knows our thoughts and our motives. This is an area that I often think and pray about, because I am well aware that I rarely, if ever, have totally pure motives. I want to—but tucked way underneath, in my heart of hearts, I often have to admit to pride, wanting the praise of people, and doing what I do because it makes me feel good.

I have finally come to the conclusion that, this side of heaven, I’m not likely to ever have completely pure motivation. But as long as I’m aware of it, praying about it, and desiring to serve God out of a pure heart, he will know and understand. He will reveal my wrong motives and help me to grow up in this area.

So, another strong measure of our spiritual maturity is our motivation—why we do what we do. Check it out for yourself.