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The Things You Do When You Are Not Spiritually Mature

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Jonah's Case

When you are lacking in spiritual maturity, you do foolish things.

Case in Point: God assigned Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach to the sinful Ninevites. Jonah decided to take a ship going in the opposite direction to Tarshish. It was foolish for him to do so, and it was foolish for him to think he could get away with disobeying God. After all, he was a prophet called by God to be God's spokesperson.

Because of Jonah's disobedience, he was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a great fish. For three days, Jonah prayed while he was in the belly of the fish. Then fish spit him up on the land. Jonah ran all the way to Nineveh and preached to the people. All of them repented.

One would think Jonah would have been delighted for having done what God asked him to do. Instead, he sat under a vine and sulked. God rebuked him because of his attitude and his lack of spiritual maturity.

But God said to Jonah: "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?" And he said: "I do. I am angry enough to die." But the LORD said: "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight, and died overnight.

But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?" — Jonah 4:9-11 (NIV)

Job's Case

You can read your Bible every single day and still not be spiritually mature.

Case in Point: Job read his Bible every day. That was a good thing. However, Job knew only the letter of the law but not the spirit. According to 2 Corinthians 3:6, "for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

After Job lost all his possessions and his ten children and was inflicted with sores all over his body, he confessed that he knew only about God but not God Himself.

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” — Job 42:5-6

Jephthah's Case

You do not make foolish vows when you are spiritually mature.

Case in Point: According to Judges 11:29-40, Jephthah was a judge. He did not judge well because he made a foolish vow to the Lord that he could not take back.

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“If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Jephthah did win the battle. He went home and his only daughter stepped out the door to greet her father. Jephthah had to keep his vow to God.

Joseph being put in a pit

Joseph being put in a pit

Case of Joseph's Brothers

People who are spiritually mature should not be jealous and do harm to their own family members.

Case in Point: Joseph's brothers wanted to kill him. The oldest brother suggested they put him in a pit instead. Then they sold Joseph into slavery. Seventeen-year-old Joseph was in prison in Egypt until he interpreted Pharaoh's dream and he was made second in command and he in charge of the grain.

When Joseph's brothers needed grain because of a famine in Canaan, they had to go to Egypt where they saw their brother after 13 years.

The Rich Young Ruler Talking to Jesus

The Rich Young Ruler Talking to Jesus

Case of the Rich Young Ruler

You can have all the money in the world and still not be spiritually mature.

Case in Point: The story of the rich young ruler is found in all three of the synoptic gospels: Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31, and Luke 18:18–30. The rich young ruler asked Jesus he could do to have eternal life. Jesus advised him to obey the commandments. The rich young ruler said he already observes them, and asked what else he can do. Jesus answered him:

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

When he heard this, he went away very sad because he was very wealthy.

Jezebel's Case

When you don't have spiritual maturity, you do evil things.

Jezebel was evil personified. When her husband, King Ahad would not do evil things, Jezebel took it upon herself to do evil things herself.

Case in Point: According to 1 Kings 21:1-16, Ahab offered to buy Naboth's vineyard so that he could expand his own gardens. Naboth declined because it was part of his inheritance. When Jezebel heard about the failed deal, she made up a lie about Naboth and sent a letter and sealed it with the king's ring. Naboth was executed outside the city. Because of what Jezebel did, Ahab was able to seize possession of Naboth's vineyard. Because of her evil deeds, Jezebel fell out the window and died. Her body was devoured by dogs.

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