Currently, my youngest sits at the kitchen sink with tears in his eyes because he has to wash about 12 dishes that are in the sink.

I ask him why he's crying. "I don't like to wash dishes" he says dejectedly. Being the ever so patient mom I am at moments (please hear the sarcasm in that statement), I say, "well, we all have chores to do in life we don't like to do so just get it done" and walk away.

Soon I hear water running, rattle of dishes and know he's doing his job.

We all have maturity issues. We all balk at learning new skills, growing. Sometimes we just want to play and not be responsible. I'd be irresponsible as a mom if I didn't push my children to take on new responsibilities.

Spiritual maturity is achieved that same way, with Christ pushing us through His Word, through the Holy Spirit, to become more like Him. It requires us to reorder our priorities, to change from doing what pleases our self to doing what pleases God.Perseverance, consistent time with Christ in His Word, prayer; all spiritual disciplines to be developed.

It's an ongoing process - filled with grace, mercy, coaching, forgiveness, failures, restarts...but all leading toward growth.

Philippians 3:12-14 instructs us to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus has taken hold of us. We need to strain, shed tears, fall down, get back up, keep our eyes on on in Him to obtain the prize for "which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Like Paul, let us each press on toward deeper love and obedience to our Abba God in Christ, pursuing Him first in all our ways. Even in washing dishes!

Hosea 6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn;
He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."