Contrasting different points of view, similar or opposite, can be enlightening. For example, in Matthew nine’s illustration (verses 14-17), Jesus answers a question by John’s disciples. They wanted to know why they and the Pharisees were fasting while the Lord’s disciples were not.
When comparing yourself to others, there can be a problem. Our comparisons do not consider equal talents or resources nor the obedience of one’s heart to the Lord. Instead, our comparison actions usually have their roots in selfishness.
Jesus answered John’s disciples by relating three examples:
- The bridegroom’s friends
- Attaching a new cloth to an old garment
- Not pouring new wine into old containers
The point being Old Testament teachings are legalistic. In comparison, New Testament examples emphasize grace. The law of the Old Testament and the grace of the New Testament are often incompatible. The Old wants to penalize humanity for wayward steps. The New allows a lifetime for growth and maturity. Yes, progress may be slow for today’s Christians because of our imperfections, but time facilitates spiritual growth, allowing believers to produce more fruit rather than immediate condemnation without future growth. The result, however, is heaven.
Grace facilitates the fulfillment of ongoing maturing life. As you mature physically, you change. You go from youth to physical maturity to deteriorating physical strength and health—the time-lapse permits distinct stages of development. From facts to application and onward to appreciation, how to put them together is another thought.
In prayer, believers grow from the give me prayers to the help me prayers, and then to the let me share prayers. It is everyone’s journey in building your relationship with the Lord Jesus, learning how to relate to life and difficulties while drawing closer to the Lord of Lords.
Spiritual maturity has its bumps and bruises. The route can be challenging, but the destination is worth it. So, preserve your eternal rewards waiting for you beyond your tomorrows.