For Growing toward Maturity
by Charles R. Swindoll
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here’s what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you’re worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he’s asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
—1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG
Father, thank You for the reminder of character qualities that are such a vital part of our Christian lives. Though we bear very few of the marks of maturity Peter wrote about in the passage above, we always need to be stirred up by way of reminder. How often we have come before You, asking for help in these areas! You have heard our pleas on many occasions. Truth be told, You will hear them again. We yearn to be like Your Son, Jesus, the One who modeled each of these marks of maturity to perfection, though fully man. We long to grow in spiritual maturity . . . but the uphill journey takes so long. We confess that it often feels unending.
Thank You for the promise that Your Holy Spirit will be with us each step of the way. We desperately need His empowerment to keep us going and growing . . . until we become like Jesus . . . fully conformed to His image.
We ask, Father, that You give us hope beyond our immaturity. Help us in our unbelief. Guard us from discouragement. As we look back over the checklist You gave to Peter—and realize how far we have to go—remind us also how far we’ve come, by Your grace. Remind us that You will complete the good work You began in us . . . until the day of Christ Jesus.
Through His matchless name we pray. Amen.
See also John 14:16-17; Galatians 5:16; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 5:8; 2 Peter 1:13.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1