it is written

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It Is Written: Mature and Lacking NOTHING

Mature and Lacking Nothing, seems like the peak of perfection, the goal for most youngsters. Here’s how you too can achieve it.

it is written

Mature and Complete Photo: PEXELS/nappy from Pexels

James 1:4 

“4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

From the time I first read this verse as a young Christian, I was hooked! There were so many areas in my life that felt “incomplete”. At times, I felt ruled by my emotions and didn’t know how to stabilize the roller-coaster ride I was on.

How I longed for maturity.  To consistently have adult responses to childhood emotions! Other versions of this scripture replace the word MATURE with WHOLE and the word COMPLETE with PERFECT.

A BETTER WAY

How would it feel to be mature (whole) and complete (perfect), lacking nothing (no good thing)? To live a steadfast, contented life, not being buffeted by uncontrolled emotions but standing secure, grounded, strong – regardless of circumstances?

Emotions have great value, but when left unchecked, we can feel like we are on a boat left afloat on choppy seas, with no anchor to our souls. It was such a revelation to me that in and through Christ, I can experience this wholeness that I longed for.  He alone is perfect, but He lives in me!  

Instead of giving in to my emotions and responding in the flesh, (which often causes long-term havoc) or allowing myself to be distracted so that I don’t have to deal with issues head on, I have learned that it is best to spend time grappling with my emotions until God removes the veil and enables me to see things more clearly.

PERSEVERANCE IS KEY

Amidst any form of emotional upheaval, ask yourself,

  • What am I actually feeling? (Put a name to it!)
  • What is the root of this emotion? (Is it fear, guilt, shame?)
  • Why am I responding like this? (Is there another way?)
  • What is the trigger to this feeling and when did it originate? (In childhood?)
  • What is the adult/godly response to this childlike feeling?

Usually, we can’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in, but we can work on our feelings to offer ourselves a healthier response.

As we find words to describe our thoughts and feelings, God finds a way to bring clarity to our hearts and minds, which in turn helps us contain them (and even to replace them), by turning to His word and persevering through journaling and prayer.  It requires practise!

To come to full maturity, we need to own our behaviour, rather than making excuses for it, which only leads to further problems and pain.

However, if we persevere in getting to the root of the true motives and attitudes of our hearts, and turn to God in humility and repentance, He works with us in that deep place, bringing us to a position of being whole and complete, lacking no good thing!

This, to me, is true prosperity.  The prosperity of the soul.

PRAYER

Oh Father – have mercy on us as we pray!

You created us and you know what is best for us. You know how to bring us to complete peace and wholeness in Christ.  

Please help us to work with you on this. Help us to do things your way, even though it feels like we are swimming upstream, against the tide at times.

Help us to humble ourselves under your mighty hand so that you may lift us up. Help us to forgive and to live in the “rest” that you purchased for us at such a great cost.

Help us to let go of all bitterness, anger, pride, and of any fear, guilt, or shame, as these are not of you Lord.

Instead, teach us your ways oh Lord, so that we walk in your paths.  Unite our hearts to fear your name.

Amen