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Immaturity

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The result of insufficient growth, or a failure to develop to one’s full potential.

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Marks of physical immaturity

not fully developed.

▶ having or showing emotional or intellectual development appropriate to someone younger.

Pride

2 Samuel 15:1–4 ESV
After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.”

Rejection of wise counsel

;
Deuteronomy 21:18 ESV
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,
1 Kings 12:8 ESV
But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him.

Tactlessness

1 Kings 12:13–14 ESV
And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”

Lack of respect

;
2 Kings 2:23 ESV
He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
Job 19:18 ESV
Even young children despise me; when I rise they talk against me.

Weakness of character

2 Chronicles 13:7 ESV
and certain worthless scoundrels gathered about him and defied Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and irresolute and could not withstand them.

Foolishness

Proverbs 22:15 ESV
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

Lack of understanding

; ; ;
Deuteronomy 1:39 ESV
And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
Proverbs 1:4 ESV
to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Jonah 4:11 ESV
And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Lack of self-control

Titus 2:6 ESV
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.

Disgrace

Proverbs 29:15 ESV
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

Waste

Luke 15:13 ESV
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.

Spiritual immaturity is to be avoided

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1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.
Hebrews 6:1 ESV
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
See also ; The word “perfection” may be understood in terms of maturity; ; ; ; ; ;

Marks of spiritual immaturity

Backsliding

Jesus Christ to his disciples.
Matthew 13:20–21 ESV
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
See also
Galatians 4:8–9 ESV
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

An over-sensitive conscience

Romans 14:2 ESV
One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

Lack of spiritual understanding

1 Corinthians 3:1–2 ESV
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

1. And I, brethren. He begins to apply to the Corinthians themselves, that he had said respecting carnal persons, that they may understand that the fault was their own—that the doctrine of the Cross had not more charms for them. It is probable, that in mercantile minds like theirs there was too much confidence and arrogance still lingering, so that it was not without much ado and great difficulty that they could bring themselves to embrace the simplicity of the gospel. Hence it was, that undervaluing the Apostle, and the divine efficacy of his preaching, they were more prepared to listen to those teachers that were subtle and showy, while destitute of the Spirit.

See also ;
Matthew 11:16–19 ESV
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates, “ ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Hebrews 5:11–14 ESV
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Divisiveness

1 Corinthians 3:3 ESV
for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Instability

Ephesians 4:14 ESV
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
See also
James 1:6–7 ESV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

Pride

The church overseer must be a spiritually mature person.
1 Timothy 3:6 ESV
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
See also
1 Peter 5:5 ESV
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Remedies for immaturity

Confession of sin

Proverbs 28:13 ESV
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
See also ; ;
Jeremiah 3:13–22 ESV
Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the Lord. Return, O faithless children, declares the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. “ ‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage. “ ‘I said, How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me. Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the Lord.’ ” A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel’s sons because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God. “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to you, for you are the Lord our God.
James 5:16 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Discipline

Proverbs 3:11–12 ESV
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
See also ; ;

Prayer and meditation

Psalm 119:97–99 ESV
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
See also ; ; ; ;
Psalm 119:27 ESV
Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
John 17:17–19 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Romans 8:26 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
James 1:25 ESV
But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
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