December 04, 2007 - integrating Hudson's 10 Qualities of a Self- Renewing Adult into a Christian worldview

The maturing Christian is creative and productive.

As creations and image bearers of a creative God, it is the adult Christian’s calling to more fully appreciate and realize the gift of creativity in pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. As the Creator created order out of chaos, so we who are New Creation were created unto good works. We have tremendous creative liberty in how we form and shape those works as we seek first the Kingdom. Therefore, a vibrant and purposeful life will manifest new forms of Kingdom productivity as one ages.

As the Christian ages, the process of renewing one’s mind will yield the fruit of growth in the area of conformation to the image of their Creator. This will be manifested in unique ways as the fruit of the Spirit. Each passing decade should be approached as a new opportunity to discover new ways in which to glorify God, not based on increasing personal viability, but rather a deepening ability to value Christ. Rather than withdrawing from service, the maturing Christian will seek new and fresh ways of service, expression, and communication of the Truth.

In this fallen world, the redemptive power of Christ provides the means to transform suffering, pain, and entropy by Grace into means of glorifying God. This turns the world's notions of creativity and productivity, as well as success, power, growth, and progress on its head. The maturing Christian becomes an agent of that redemption participating in healing, restoration, and Kingdom building. This agency manifests itself in creative ways as power being perfected in weakness. This gives new meaning and purpose even to death and dying as it is transformed into an entry into eternal viability in Christ.

The creative gift is a productive and powerful force which the Holy Spirit can use to shape and mold the way in which people live and behave as well as a means of setting one’s mind on things above. The maturing Christian’s prerogative is to offer a purposeful resistance to the cultural programming that otherwise appears so inevitable and so inescapable, while alternatively declaring the Truth of Christ. This has always been a matter of intelligence, passion, constraint, shrewdness, and will. This calling does not diminish with age, as Christian maturity requires continued, fresh engagement with and stewardship of the world one has been placed in by their Creator.

Renewing Your Mind

1. They are value-driven.
The maturing Christian sees that there are no values-netral aspects of life. Right now counts forever, and all other values flow from the primary source of a right estimation of the value and worth of Christ. Keeping Christ at the center drives all activity as they "seek first the Kingdom of god and His righteousness."

2. They are connected to the world around them.
The Maturing Christian takes responsibility for the authority invested in them. This finds its focal point in the cultural mandate and is realized in community. As the essence of the Godhead is relational, so our relationships define our efficacy in this world. They see the earth is the Lords and that as stewards of creation, life is filled with the good gifts of a provident Lord. They give themselves in the service of God and man. They are engaged and proactive in the place where they are planted.

3. They require solitude and quiet.
The maturing Christian spends time alone in meditation on the Word of God and cultivates an intense and passionate relationship with their Creator-Lord. This includes times of reflection and evaluation as well as pondering the peaceable fruit of righteousness. It especially requires learning to listen to and wait upon the Lord. They find their source in savoring Christ, and drink at the unbroken cistern of abundant life. They cultivate a sense of wonder and awe and pursue expression of this inner reality.

4. They pace themselves.
The maturing Christian knows how to say "no" to the good in order to anticipate God’s best for their lives. This leads to endurance and strength. As they encounter various trials they consider it all joy, knowing that the testing of their faith produces this endurance. They have a strategy for their productive life and adhere to keeping a Sabbath not out of regard for the law that was fulfilled in Christ, but as a time of rest and focus. They learn that Christ is their Sabbath rest and they increasingly rely on him to provide power that is perfected in weakness. Their integrity requires that all the areas of their life be brought under the reality of Acts 17:28: "In Him we live and move and have our being."

5. They have contact with nature.
The maturing Christian connects with the creation that declares the glory of God. As frail children of dust, they draw strength from the natural revelation of God in the created order and find pleasure in the good, the true and the beautiful resonant even in a fallen creation. They listen for the rhythms of life in the elements and cycles of sun and moon, springtime and harvest, and see the wonder and power of God even in the destructive forces of nature as well as in the music of the spheres..

6. They are creative and purposeful.

See previous entry.

7. They are adaptive to change.
The maturing Christian finds the source of consistency and permanence in the counsels of the more sure Word of the Lord, and frames the present milieu of change in that perspective. Change is inherent in their life and they seek to maximize God’s glory through those changes. They seek not to rest in tradition, but to conserve the good from historical practices while anticipating good gifts that are to come. They are proactive and consistent in their stewardship as change managers in this present reality. They anticipate new mercies every morning as they realize their place before the throne of the One who is age to age the same. They see challenges as new opportunities and rest in the Sovereignty of God.

8. They learn from down-time.
The maturing Christian develops a biblical theology of failure and sees wilderness times as God sees them, as time of opportunity for intense revelation and relationship with Himself. They understand that those whom God loves, he chastises. They exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and especially of self control. Conflict comes to be seen as an opportunity for new resolution and redemption. They understand their limitations do not limit God, and that God does not sit in Heaven wringing his hands over our failures. They develop a sense of cultivated incompetence in that they learn to rely on God not for their own autonomous sufficiency, but His, while seeking to grow in areas of insufficiency of experience. Their idea of success is built on a biblical notion of power perfected in weakness, formed by the foolishness of the Cross. They know that even the worst that can happen to them on earth will lead to an eternal weight of Glory.

9. They are always in training.
The maturing Christian never ceases to grow in some capacity. They are continually being trained in righteousness. They practice what they preach, understanding that life is in the Knowledge of the Father as revealed in the face of Christ Jesus. They seek his face in the Word and in practicing being his workmanship through good works to his Gory and for our good. They pursue excellence in ministry and in doing all things as unto the Lord, as they understand that all Truth is God’s Truth.

10. They are future-oriented.
The maturing Christian rightly apprises their own mortality, thinking on the end of their assignment on earth with some regularity. Their Kingdom orientation causes them to realize that right now counts forever, but they live with an anticipation of the eternal state, seeking to realize its present aspects while finding their hope in the reality yet to come. They have a passionate fervor and a sense of urgency to see souls come into a right relationship with Christ, who is the end of all things. They anticipate the coming of the city with foundations, the New Jerusalem, and are held fast forevermore in the assurance of their blessed hope. They come to see others bearing the potential of the eternal weight of glory. They have a sure reason to rejoice in the future.

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