But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
– Hebrews 5:14 (ESV)
Recently I've been thinking a lot about maturity. From my perspective, maturity is not much valued in our culture. It is synonymous with "no fun", and when one thinks of maturity, the vision that presents itself is of a buttoned-down and proper dullness. We live in a culture that celebrates youth, celebrates success (however gained), and celebrates excess. Our televisions are rife with images of men behaving like boys and women fulfilling those boy's every fantasy. There are a lot fewer images of people who demonstrate maturity. You see, maturity lacks "spice".
But the image of maturity found in the Bible is anything but dull. The word translated "mature" in Hebrews 5:14 is the greek word Teleios, which signifies full development, completion. Teleios means readiness; something that is fully prepared to accomplish its purpose.
God's desire for you and I is that we be mature. And this is not a boring state. A person who is mature in God's eyes is someone who is battle-hardened; they are a useful weapon in God's hands, someone who has their powers of discernment honed through long training in the Word and who is thus able to distinguish good from evil. In my view, people who are mature in this way are rare. I certainly don't count myself among them (just follow me around on any given day and you'll know what I mean), but I hope to continue training and honing my God-given powers of discernment. So that I can be fully mature, complete for the task God has set before me, having the ability to digest and put into practice the solid, hearty food of God's Word, which is the sustenance that every warrior needs for the battle.
Maturity was certainly a calling Paul took seriously, both for himself and those he was charged with. As he writes in Colossians. "Him [Jesus] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." – Colossians 1:28-29.
For Paul, maturity was worth the toil and the struggle he went through, with all the energy that God would supply. If you're a redeemed child of God, maturity is your destiny! You and I need to embrace that, and press on toward that goal.