It maybe goes without saying that a genuine Christian wants to follow Jesus. We all may have various ideas of how to do this, or differ on what the goal of spiritual growth is. Yet, maybe we need to ask what God wants and what his goal is for his followers? Maturity is where it is at, man, and we all need it, including college students. It is not unusual for me to have a conversation with a student who is hot for God, and bemoans some problem in the church or world, but lacks the maturity to go with the fire. I usually say something to the effect, "yeah, well, you can post your 95 Theses once you own a door to put them on."
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians telling them his aim: "Him (Jesus) we proclaim warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ" (1:28). He echoes this again with the Ephesians letting them know that the process of maturity is to not be done in isolation, but together as a community of believers, so that no one is left out or behind in God's goal of seeing a well-rounded church, fully developed and equipped to follow Jesus in every circumstance of life (4:13). Our Lord himself exhorted us to be mature, just as our heavenly Father is. Since God is mature, we are to reflect him in all of our relationships by handling them in a mature manner (Matthew 5:46-48).
The author of the book of Hebrews tells us that those who are mature have developed a keen sense of discernment in distinguishing between good and evil (5:14); and, Paul told the Phillipians that maturity brings a proper perspective from which to view hard situations and allows one to endure suffering (3:12-15).
Maturity results from spiritual growth which occurs over an extended period of time in the context of community. Maturity can neither happen with only growth, nor with just time. Both are needed in order to reach a mature state. The process of growth over time is of vital importance to Jesus, who knows that this is the manner in which one bears fruit that will last (Luke 8:9-15).
Are you spiritually mature? If so, how did you get to this point? If not, how will maturity be realized? Does my ministry and church have maturity as a goal? Why, or why not? May God be gracious to work in us and instill in his children his own mature nature, that we may be like Jesus in all we do and say.