I’d love to know what you think are the hallmarks of an emotionally mature Christian?
I have a great friend who became a Christian about 10 years ago and had quite a dramatic conversion and healing story. As a result, I think he was catapulted into the limelight pretty quickly, to share his story. Over time, he developed a ministry and was speaking at churches regularly and praying for people, even using the gift of prophecy. I travelled with him occasionally and spotted what I think were small red flags. For example, he would regularly go over the time slot he was given by churches, sometimes by up to 30-40 minutes. He would spend hours praying for people at the end, until sometimes the church would be in darkness and a janitor would be jangling the keys! Not terrible things but to me, it said that perhaps my friend didn’t understand boundaries and needed some help with this. However, there is no doubt my friend has a real calling on his life and definitely has a message to share.
Fast forward to recently when my friend was in the company of a woman I would describe as a ‘hero of the faith’. This woman had been in ministry with her husband for over 40 years, they have travelled globally and have been trained by incredible leaders in theology. This woman wanted to speak with my friend and in some ways offer some mentoring. She spoke candidly to my friend, pointed out areas where my friend needed to be more wise and to sharpen his gift. My friend did not take this well. He was devastated and later said to me privately he thought the woman was probably jealous of his ministry. I wanted to weep, it so preposterous.
All of a sudden, I could see that in reality, my friend probably was not the emotionally mature person I had thought he was. The points this woman had raised with him were all things I have noticed too. My friend assumed I would be ‘on his side’ and agree this woman’s words were fleshly, but I genuinely couldn’t. It’s been a sad few months since this happened!
So, as I process this in my head, I would enjoy getting some insight from others.
1. What (to you) are the signs of an emotionally mature Christian?
2. How can we deal with younger Christians and prevent them from being put on a pedestal too quickly?
3. Any advice on helping my friend to see that he does need mentors and accountability?