Old Meeting House Congregational Church (1643)

The Best Hidden Church in Norwich

The Power of Ideals

The other Sunday we sang the wonderful hymn, “May the mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from day to day, by His love and power controlling all I do and say.” It prompted me to realise that the power of ideal is incalculable. We see no power in a drop of water. But let it get into a crack and be turned into ice, and it splits the rock; turned into steam, it drives the pistons of the most powerful engines. Something has happened to it which makes active and effective the power that is latent to it.

So, it is with ideals. Ideals are thoughts. So long as they merely exist as thoughts, the power latent in them remains ineffective, however great the enthusiasm and however strong the conviction with which the thought is held. Their power becomes effective only when they are taken up into some refined human personality.

There is a huge battle going on in most of us in our thought life. If we are going to be greatly used by God we constantly need to pray that we will have His mind in us guiding us in all we do and say.

Your highest goal must be to possess maturity.

The one thing that I constantly pray for not only in my own life but in the lives of every Christian person that I meet is to reach full spiritual maturity.

Maturity is many things. First, it is the ability to base a judgement on the Big Picture – The Long Haul. It means being able to overlook the “fun-for-the minute” and select the course of action which will pay off later. One of the characteristics of infancy is the “I want it NOW” approach. Grown-up people can wait.

Maturity is the ability to stick to a project or a situation until it is finished. The adult who is constantly changing jobs, changing friends, changing churches, is immature. He or she cannot stick it out because they are not grown up. After a while everything for them seems to turn out sour.

Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse. The mature person knows he/she cannot have everything their own way.

Maturity is the ability to live up to your responsibility, and this means being dependable. It means keeping your word. And dependability equates with personal integrity. Do you mean what you say – and say what you mean?

Sadly, the world is filled with people who cannot be counted upon – have you ever met anyone like that? People who never seem to come through in the tight places. People who break promises and substitute alibis for performance. They show up late or not at all. They are confused and disorganised. Their lives are a chaotic maze of unfinished business.

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. Immature people spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing. Action requires courage, and there is no maturity without courage.

Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and to do more than is expected. The mature person refuses to settle for mediocrity. He/she would rather aim high and miss the mark than aim low and make it. The quest however remains: Am I am mature person?

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