I’ve just been reading a bit of Larry Crabb’s book, Understanding People, again. It’s a book I got in 1987 and it has made a huge impact on me.
The sections I read today discussed maturity and what that looks like. The fact is that much of what looks like maturity in people is actually a commitment to self-protection.
Here are some quotes from the book that have really struck and challenged me. The fact that I find a lot of these quotes so uncomfortable is a sure sign that they apply to me.
- “Maturity is less related to perfection than to a growing awareness of imperfection, an awareness that…drives us toward dependency on Christ for anything good to come out of our lives.”
- “A mature pattern of relating involves whatever actions represent the abandonment of self-protection. The defensively pushy person will become more gentle as he matures, while the self-protectively gracious person will assert himself more.”
- “Mature people relate to others without self-protection as their controlling motive. They love. Their actions may be gentle or brusque, silly or serious, traditional or progressive, quiet or noisy, gracious or severe, tolerant or confrontative, but they will be patient, kind, not envious, humble, sensitive, other-centred, slow to anger, quickly forgiving, haters of wrong, lovers of right, protective, trusting, hoping, persevering.”
- “[Mature people] relate to others on the basis of a trust in God to look after their deepest welfare that frees them to direct their energies toward helping others.”
- “In [the presence of mature people], our growth seems more appealing to us than required of us.”
- “As people learn to love, the internal structures that sustain their emotional and psychological ills are eroded.”
- “When the Scriptures give no clear instruction to govern specific choices, then the principle is always to do what is loving.”
- “The effect of dependence on God is freedom to take hold of our worlds and to deal responsibly with them without being controlled by a fear of the pain to which our obedience may lead. The effect of clinging to God is the freedom to love.”