Maturity

I want to be mature. The problem is that the older (and hopefully wiser) I get the more I realize how uncomfortable a life of maturity can be!

I think our inability to keep Torah with exactitude is one of the greatest aids in the effort to keep the atonement provided by Yeshua front and center in our focus. I am regularly driven to contemplate the grace on which I depend by virtue of the fact that I am constantly engaged in wrestling with how to live for God’s glory (c.f. Philip Graham Ryken quote in previous post) according to God’s instructions, and the necessity of depending on His grace as I seek to work out His way as the Spirit leads.

In other words, there is a danger in tradition as a default, because we can tend to become at ease about the state of our practices, confident that we our practicing as God would have us. I am not confident that God ever wants us to become comfortable. Rather we ought to be constantly weighing, how does the Torah relate to this set of circumstances and this group of people, this scenario, etc.?

I am increasingly convinced that maturity is measured by our willingness and subsequently our ability to dwell in the tension that life and God’s instructions present us. It is our desire to escape the tension and settle on a clear, present, and time-tested framework of rules, that threatens our dependency on God for grace to be pleasing today (and each day).

5 thoughts on “Maturity

  1. [quote]I think our inability to keep Torah with exactitude is one of the greatest aids in the effort to keep the atonement provided by Yeshua front and center in our focus.[/quote]

    I second that! And this is where I disagree with many who assume about those of us who are Torah observant that we think we can ‘win’ salvation by doing Torah. IT CAN’T BE DONE!

  2. Hi Nate, …hummmmm I maybe don’t see it the same as you… (surprise! LoL!) We weren’t built to live in constant tension, we were built to live in peace and tend the garden, like children, we look to certain things as “safety nets”, things comfortable and like moms arms, safe… my perception is the traditions are just that, a known confine and area of safety. (I’m not saying that we should do anything without kavanah – concentration/pure intent & certainly NOT just “vain repetition”.) But to have a place/system in which you have comfort is a “good thing”. Maturity is our “response” more often than not, we look at our Master, and even when He expressed outrage there was still the Spirit that would not break a bruised reed or quench a smoking flax… control, compassion, mercy… these are the traits I see reflecting maturity.
    To hopefully build on what Jamie expressed, when we’re truthful, with ourselves, it is painfully obvious that we “just can’t do it”, we MUST Trust in HaShems plan of redemption through Yeshua Messiah, but that doesn’t mean we’re not obligated to do our best, and since HaShem has graciously given us His Torah (Instruction – target), then we can use it to evaluate the traditions, ourselves and move in and out of the “tension” that allows us to daily be stretched and molded into the likeness of the “Pattern Son”.
    Make sense? …I’m not good at these things… 🙂
    Shalom to you and your house!
    Ed R.

  3. Let’s look at your example of Yeshua, Ed. That is a good example of a mature response. On one hand, He was responding to sin, indeed desecration of His Father’s house, for example. Clearly this was behavior worthy of death. On the other hand, Yeshua/God is full of mercy and abounding in compassion. So His response evidences the tension between those two truths.

    Yeshua responded appropriately or maturely; he rebuked in truth, but restrained Himself in grace.

    The woman accused of adultery is another good example. Yeshua responded by balancing two truths of Torah. On one hand, adulters were to be stoned, on the other hand, there must be two or three witnesses. The tension in that story is so evident as to have caused multiple varying and errant “explanations” for why Yeshua responded by telling the woman to “go and sin no more”, rather than by condemning her.

  4. The more I read this entry the more it makes sense to me. I am about to write some similar thoughts on my own blog.

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