James I (J. I.) Packer
The first mark of maturity is the ability to deal constructively with reality to face facts, to not cover up reality or call it something else, but to deal with it as it is. Mature people do not kid themselves. The second mark is, adapting quickly to change. We all experience change, whether it be physical, at work, in the family, or whatever. I am amazed at how much some of you have changed through the years while I remain exactly the same! Immature people resist change. It makes them nervous. But the mark of maturity is to adapt to change because change is inevitable. The third mark is freedom from the symptoms of tension and anxiety. The worried look, the frown, the ulcers, the palpitations of the heart – come because you are upset, anxious and worried. Maturing means you have begun to see that God is in control of this world. He is working out purposes that you do not always understand, but you accept it. He will take you through the deep water, not drown you in it. Maturity means you are learning to trust. Fourth, it means to be satisfied more with giving than receiving. Some of you have recently learned that the joy of Christmas is not getting presents but giving them. To see the joy in someone else’s face when they get something they either need or want. That is a sign you are growing up. You are discovering the true values of life. The fifth mark is, to relate to others with consistency, helpfulness and mutual satisfaction. Maturity is learning to get along with other people, to be a help, not a hindrance, to contribute to the solution and not to be always a part of the problem. Finally, maturity is sublimating and redirecting anger to constructive ends. Maturity is the ability to use the adrenaline that anger creates, not to lose your temper and add to the problem, but to correct a situation or to contribute to changing the nature of the difficulty.