Many churches (and church people) evaluate spiritual maturity solely on the set of beliefs or creeds one embraces. The ability to debate doctrine or explain theology is considered by some as the ultimate proof of spiritual maturity.
The truth is… spiritual maturity is demonstrated more by ones BEHAVIOR than by BELIEFS.
The Christian life is not simply a matter of creeds, convictions and affirmations. It also includes character and conduct. What I believe must be backed up by my behavior. The NT repeatedly shows us that our actions and our attitudes reveal more about our maturity than our creeds or belief systems:
- I Corinthians 8:1b (NIV) "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up"
- James puts it more bluntly . . . . James 3:13 (NKJV) "Who is wise and understanding among you. Let him show by GOOD CONDUCT that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom."
In other words, if someone thinks they "know something" let them prove it by how they behave.
Knowledge needs to be tempered by character. . . . Our deeds need to be consistent with our creeds.