Do you remember having your food cut up as a child? Great care would be taken to ensure that your bite sizes had no bones and were manageable, requiring little to no effort on your part. Your parents and care givers recognized your limitations, knowing that your capacity was not yet fully developed. There was an unspoken understanding that time, patience and experience combined would eventually equip you to cut up your own food. The expectation was that as you grew and developed you would be taught and eventually trusted to extract the bones by yourself. So then imagine being 30 years old or even 45 and still needing someone to cut up your food. That would pose a serious issue socially, and point towards the presence of some type of developmental delay. Only thing worse would be refusing to eat at all due to the presence of bones.

Maturity eats the meat and throws out the bones, while immaturity gets offended that there are bones. Life is full of uncertainty and challenges. Nothing is easy! Nothing is handed to us in a perfect state; not relationships, marriages, careers, or ministries. The common denominator in all these arenas is the presence of PEOPLE. If someone out there has figured out how to excel on their own without the help of other people, by all means kindly share your secret.

The most incredible yet infuriating creatures on this planet are people. Broken,beautiful, inspiring, contradictory, hilarious, maddening, perfectly imperfect all wrapped into one. Because we are raised to get what we want when we want it, many of us mishandle people. When we are accustomed to having things done for us and never having to extend ourselves, we develop unrealistic expectations rooted in immaturity.

I remember meeting my husband and thinking that he was a nice guy but there were too many bones. This meant I would have to work. I was going to have to stretch myself to embrace someone that didn’t come ready-made and perfectly prepared for me. The bones made me uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be bothered. For a moment I was prepared to walk away from our friendship simply because the presence of boney areas of his life inconvenienced me. Reality is it revealed my immaturity. My expectations were unrealistic and I had watched a nauseating amount of romance films.

I nearly missed out on one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me because I was offended that it came with bones. Look, that’s just how this life thing kinda goes. You pray for a “Promised Land”, God brings you to it and then expects you to rid the land of giants and whatever else is occupying your land. You can’t just walk away and pray that the giants die or that God leads you to another promise. Immaturity will have you offended that your promise requires your participation. Offended that all the work wasn’t done for you.

Maturity on the other hand says ” this is just a bone, throw it out and eat the meat”. There’s a grace and compassion that comes when you choose to be mature. You can celebrate another’s genius but understand their human frailty. You learn from their wisdom but don’t disqualify them when you disagree in a separate area. When you’re mature you don’t walk away from a job because a colleague doesn’t like you. You determine to learn and grow from your work experience, despite the obstacles. Don’t leave a church you said God sent you to over foolishness. Don’t quit on life because it presented a challenge or difficulty… it’s supposed to! And you’re supposed to GROW THROUGH the challenges. Don’t give up on your dream because you encounter pushback.

Life is a journey and maturity is a choice. There’s so much beauty that can be seen if we decide to not get tripped up. We can’t be offended over minute things, majoring in minor things when the whole is actually greater than the sum of the parts. I’m not saying that we should overlook character issues or tolerate negative and toxic environments in the name of maturity. I am saying that sometimes we walk away without having even tried. Maturity requires a discerning eye, so look a little deeper into those around you. Find a reason to love, believe and hope for the best in others and for heaven’s sake… EAT THE MEAT!