When Did Enthusiasm Become Immaturity?
I remember driving home one day when I was in the Army listening to the radio. I had been struggling with feeling unsure of how to share Jesus with my friends in the Army, and feeling guilty for the kind of witness I had been to them.
I was listening to Luis Palau, and he was sharing about a time he was speaking at a conference with a few other big name speakers of the time. He shared how these spiritual giants were standing around talking and a young man came up to share the Good News of Jesus with them. The group as a whole laughed at the young mans enthusiasm, and how his lack of spiritual maturity was so off, he had just tried to share Jesus with some people obviously already knew Jesus well. They told stories about how they used to just talk to everyone about Jesus when they were first saved, and how silly that was, and how they are so much more refined now. Luis went on to share how in that moment he realized, there was a great problem with this type of thinking. It was a great reminder to me, and encouragement to me in that season, and I have not forgotten that lesson since then.
The truth is, a lack of enthusiasm and lack of willingness to risk is not a sign of maturity, but rather, it may be better defined as a lack of zeal. It is easy to misinterpret the mature believers invited to speak as the spiritual giants, and the young man with zeal as the spiritually immature. Yet think of it this way, when we first come to know Jesus, we are so aware of the darkness we were in and so thankful for the light that comes into our life with Jesus, that we can't stop talking about it. We tell the person in the coffee line in front of us, we tell the cashier at the grocery store, we interrupt our friends conversation about football to share about God's goodness in our life. This kind of "spiritual immaturity" is exactly what most Christians need to hear, to see, to live, and certainly it's what the lost need to hear. I love the passage found in 2 Corinthians 3:12 it says, "Since we have such a hope, we are very bold" We have been offered a radical uncommon life changing hope. It seems to me, that means it's not all that strange to be a radical uncommonly hopeful person.
My encouragement to you is simply this, consider where you have been living. Have you been living as a mature and collected spiritual person? Have you been living with a sense of excitement, open to risk, and telling people about God's goodness every chance you get?
I would just like to encourage you to ask yourself the question, when did enthusiasm become immaturity anyhow?