On Christian Maturity & Immaturity

I started a fun little exercise recently—well, fun for nerds like me, anyhow. I want to learn more about what distinguishes a mature Christian from an immature Christian, so as I read my daily devotions I have been writing down different traits or behaviors I see in Scripture for each.

Writing up a list of immaturity is a bit confusing; some of these things are marks of unbelievers, but I think immature Christians aren’t necessarily exempt from these. They should be, and if they were more mature they would be working to eradicate these from their lives, but even mature Christians are sinful by nature and will do immature things from time to time.

Take a look at the two lists below. They are extremely long. Because I am an overachiever like that. But the lists are humbling, if you take the time to go through them. There are many words and descriptors in both columns that make me wince. I have a long way to go.

(Please note these lists are alphabetical and are not listed by opposing traits. It got too complicated otherwise.)


Mature Immature
Abiding Abuse
Acceptance Addicted
Accessible Adulterous in deed
Action Adulterous in thought
Admirable Afraid
After God’s own heart Aggressive
Ambassador Anxious
Appreciate Approval-seeking
Approachable Argue
Approve Arrogant
Ask Ashamed
Bear all things Ask with wrong motives
Bear good fruit Assuming
Bear others’ burdens Attack
Bearer of Light Attention-seeking
Behind the scenes Avoid
Believe Avoidance
Bendable Back-stabber
Blameless Backslides
Bless Belittling
Boast of weakness Betray
Bold in confidence Bite and devour others
Bold in prayer Bitter
Bold in speech Blame
Bonded Blemished
Born again Blend in
Bow down Blind
Brings good, not harm Blown here and there by every wind of teaching
Brotherly kindness Boast
Builds up Break Sabbath
Calm Breaks covenants
Captivating Breaks promises
Care for others Bribe
Cares for poor, orphans, widows, prisoners Bring harm, not good
Carry burdens Broken
Carry others Burdens
Change Callous
Cherish Cheater
Child-like Claim innocence
Christ-like Clinging
Clean Heart Closed off
Cleansing Coarse joking
Clear Cold
Comfortable Cold-hearted
Comforting Complaining
Committed Conceited
Compassionate Condemning
Complementary Conditional
Complete Conditional love
Confess Conflict
Confession Conformed to pattern of this world
Confident Conforming
Confrontational (of sin) Conformist
Connect Contradict
Connected Controlling
Considerate Convenience
Consistent Corrupt
Content in all circumstances Covet
Controversial Coward
Convicted (of sin) Crabby
Convicting Crooked
Correct Cross
Correctly handles word of truth Crude
Counsel Cruel
Courageous Curses
Covenantal Darkness
Covers over a multitude of sins Debauchery
Creative Deceitful
Dedicated Deceptive
Defender Defeated
Delayed gratification Defensive
Delight Defile marriage bed
Delight in God’s Law Defiled
Delights in the law of the Lord Delight in evil
Delivered Demand
Determined Demeaning
Devoted Deny
Difference-maker Dependent
Different Deserter
Dignity Deserving
Discerning Despicable
Discipled Despise
Disciplined Destructive
Discipling Disagreeable
Distinguish good from evil Disappoint
Do good to everyone Disbelief
Eager Discontent
Ears to hear Discouraged
Edify Dishonest
Effective Dishonor
Effort to add to faith Dishonor authority
Embrace the “other” Dishonor parents
Encourage Disloyal
Endure all things Dismayed
Enjoy Disobedient
Enriching Disrespect
Equip Dissatisfied
Equipped for every good work Dissension
Escape corruption in the world Distant
Evangelize Distracted
Exalts God Distressed
Excellent Disunity
Expose fruitless deeds Division
Eyes fixed on Jesus Divisive
Eyes to see Dominating
Fair Don’t ask God
Faithful instruction Double-minded
Faithfulness Doubt
Fears the Lord Downcast
Fellowship Drains
Fight the good fight Drunkenness
Find Easily angered
Firm Easily offended
Flexible Easily shaken
Flourish Egotistical
Forget what is behind Embarrass
Forgive Empty words
Foundation on the Rock Enemy of righteousness
Freedom Enmity
Fulfilled Enslaves
Full of grace Entertain sin/evil
Full of truth Envy
Gentleness Exalts Self
Genuine Exclusive
Gift Faith versus deeds (instead of both/and)
Giving False testimony
Gladness Favoritism
Godly Fear of controversy
Good deeds Fear of men
Goodness Fearful
Grace Feels threatened
Gracious Fight
Gratitude Filth
Growth Fits of anger
Harmony Flight
Hates sin Foolish
Heal Foolish talk
Heart of Flesh (not stone) Forceful
Helpful Forgetful
Holiness Forgotten cleansing of past sins
Honest Foundation on shifting sand
Honor God’s name Fraud
Honor marriage Fruitless
Honor parents Fruitless deeds
Hope Frustrated
Hope all things Give up
Humble Gloom and doom
Humility Gluttony
Hunger and thirst for righteousness Gossip
Identity rooted in Jesus Gratify sinful nature
Imitator of God Greatest vs. Least
Impartial Greed
Inclusive Grumbling
Influence Guilt
Insight Haphazard
Instruct Hard-hearted
Intentional Harm
Interdependent Harsh
Internal Beauty Hates enemies
Intimate Hatred
Joined Heart of stone
Joy Hesitant
Joyful in trials Hidden
Keep marriage bed pure Hoards
Keep the faith Hold grudges
Keep the Sabbath Hordes wealth
Keeps promises Hurtful
Kind Hyper-Sensitive
Kingdom-oriented Hypocrite
Knocks Idle
Knowledge Idolatry
Lacks nothing Ignorance
Laugh at days to come Ignores
Leader Ill-equipped
Learned Immodest
Least = greatest Immorality
Least of these Impatient
Lends aid Imprisons
Life-giving Impulsive
Light of the world Impure
Light shining bright Inconsistent
Like God Incorrectly handles word of truth
Live by the Spirit Indifferent
Live in the light Ineffective
Living Influenced by evil
Living sacrifice Infuriate
Love Insecure
Love for the “other” Insist on own way
Love neighbor as yourself Instant gratification
Lovely Intolerance
Loves deeply Irresponsible
Loves enemies Irreverent
Loyal Irritable
Made new Isolation
Magnify God’s name Jealous
Make disciples of every nation Judging
Make most of every opportunity Keeps record of wrongs
Make music from heart to the Lord Lazy
Malleable Liar
Meek Limiting
Merciful Listen to word but don’t do what it says
Modest Lose faith
Moldable Luke-warm
Motivated Lust
New creation Manipulative
Noble Mean
Nourishing Merciless
Nurturing Misery
Obedient Mistrusting
One body Misunderstand
One mind Misuse God’s name
Open Nagging
Opportunistic Narcissistic
Partaker Near-sighted
Participate in divine nature No fruit
Partnership No self-control
Patient Objectification
Pays attention Obscene
Peace Offensive
Peace-Maker (active) One-Up Others
Perceptive Oppression
Persevere Orgies
Petition Over-indulgent
Pious Overcommit
Pleasing to God Overzealous
Praise Owed
Praise-Worthy Pain
Pray for enemies Passive
Prayer Passive-aggressive
Press on Peace-“keeper” (passive)
Prioritize God Performance-based
Prioritize others Permissive
Proclaim Persecute
Productive Plot evil
Protect Polluted by world
Provides Possessive
Pure Pout
Put God’s word into practice Pressure
Put off sin Prioritize self
Put on righteousness Prisoner
Quick to Listen Problem of the “other”
Quiet Proud
Reaches out Provoke
Rebirth Quarrel
Rebuke Quick to anger
Reconcile/Agent of reconciliation Quick to speak
Refine Quit
Rejoice Quitter
Rejoice with the truth Racist
Relational React
Renewal Rebellion
Renewed mind Redefine
Repentant Refuse
Representative Rejection
Resourceful Rejoice in wrongdoing
Respect Rejoices in injustice
Rest Resentful
Restoration Reserved
Reverent Restless
Revival Right to…
Right spirit Rude
Right with God Run away from danger
Righteous Sadness
Roll with the punches Scheming
Rooted in love Secretive
Run to win the prize Self-identified
Sacrifice Self-indulgent
Safe Self-justification
Salt of the earth Self-promotion
Sanctification Self-seeking
Satisfied Selfish
Scripture in heart Sensitive
Secure Sensuality
Seek Set traps
Seeks unity Settles
Self-Control Sexist
Servant Sexual immorality
Serve Shaken
Sexual purity Shame
Share Shaming
Shepherd Short-cuts
Shine before men Short-sighted
Shine like stars Show off
Sincere Sinful
Slow to anger Sins of Omission (know good ought to do but don’t)
Slow to speak Slander
Soldier Slavery
Sound mind Slow to listen
Source is God Sorcery
Sowers of the seed Sorrow
Speak in psalms, hymns, songs from Spirit Source is self or others
Speak truth in love Spend on own pleasures
Speak up Stiff-necked
Spirit-filled in all of life Stir up trouble
Stand out Stomach = God
Stand up for others Strays
Straight Stressed
Strain toward what lies ahead Strife
Strives toward perfection Stubborn
Submissive Sulk
Submit to Christ Superiority
Submit to one another Suppression
Support Swaggering
Surrender Swearing
Take every thought captive Take
Take Responsibility Take advantage
Tamed Tongue Take for granted
Teachable Takes easy way out
Teacher Tears down
Team-oriented Tense
Tender Tension
Tender-hearted Terror
Test and approve God’s will Test others
Test own work Thoughtless
Thankful Threats
Thoughtful Tossed back and forth by the waves
Thrive Trembling
Time for others Trouble-maker
Train in righteousness Troublesome
Trained Unappreciative
Transformed by renewing of mind Uncircumcised Ears
Trust Uncircumcised heart
Unashamed Uncommitted
Understanding Undercommit
Undeserving Underperform
Unfailing love Undisciplined
Unhidden Unforgiving
Unified Unfulfilled
Unique Ungrateful
United to Christ Unholy
United to spouse Unjust
Unreserved Unkind
Unseen Unloving
Unshaken Unmerciful
Unveiled Mind (belief) Unmoved/Unmovable
Upholds Unproductive
Value Unsafe
Victory Unsound mind
Voice in the darkness Untamed tongue
Vulnerable Unteachable
Walk in the Spirit Untrained
Walk with God Untrustworthy
Warm Unwilling
Watches over Unwise
Well-intentioned Unyielding
Willing Upset
Winsome Veiled Mind
Wisdom Violent
Without blemish Wasteful
Word hidden in heart Weary of doing good
Worker Withdrawal
Worship Withholding
Yielding Worry
Zealous Wrathful

About kneumair

Karen Neumair is a lover of God and a lover of words, especially when those two things come together. She has experienced multiple depressive episodes in her life, most severely after the birth of her second daughter, but is overwhelmingly thankful for how God has used her depression to teach her more about Who He is (and who she isn’t). Wife to Chris and Mommy to Hannah, Becca, and baby Lizzy.
This entry was posted in Depression, Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink.

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