“4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:4
I work with the middle and high school students at my church and we recently had our transition night for the new 6th graders to come checkout our ministry. It is a big transition for them from our children’s ministry to middle school ministry. They no longer have to have a parent sign them in and get a sticker to put on their shirt. It is always interesting to see the reactions to this transition of not only the students, but the parents as well.
Many parents are uncomfortable with their student having the freedom to not need them to sign them in. When we have our first parent meetings there are always a group of new sixth grade parents that stay after and ask tons of questions. It is always comical too when our next sixth grade students go on their first overnight trip with us. You would think it was as if their parents were shipping them off to boot camp, but it is usually less than 30 hours that they are away.
After spending three years in our student ministry it is sad to see our students leave, but the difference between when they entered and when they left is night and day. They come in as kids who laugh at the idea of talking about sex and dating and leave as young men and women who know God. We graduated a couple of girls this year who found answered God’s calling to start an organization called “Birds of Hope” that raises money for clean water in Zambia. They sew small birds out of fabric and sell them for $5 each. In less than a year they have raise $20,000 to help Active Water’s efforts to provide water for the people of Zambia. If you feel compelled to buy a bird I want to let you know that 100% of every dollar goes towards providing clean water to Zambia. These girls don’t keep a penny for themselves.
These girls have matured their the trials of their lives. Where their faith was tested and they persevered through the test. In their persevering they found God. They found that God calls us to love others by using the talents that He has blessed us with.
James 1:4 states that perseverance causes us to mature and be complete. To be complete and not lacking anything. It doesn’t mean that to be mature means you have to make a $100,000 salary. It doesn’t mean you have to be debt free. It doesn’t mean you have to have the latest electronic. To be complete you love God, and that because you love God, you love others.