Summary: When you reach a level of spiritual maturity you no longer ask what you can get from God, but what can I give God to show how much I love him.
“Rendering Reasonable Service”
District Elder M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
Psalms 116:12 “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me”.
OPENNING: What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me.
The 1st thing we notice or should notice about this particular passage of scripture is that it is a personal statement. It doesn’t give direction as what you as a corporate body of believers should do, it doesn’t make recommendation as to what the church should do, it’s not even something that is required for salvation, but it is personal. Because it is personal it calls for self examination. 1st Cor. 11;28 says “Let every man examine Himself…”
The 2nd thing we notice or should notice is the selflessness of the author. The writer of this psalm is not thinking about what he can get. He didn’t say how can I get more. He didn’t say what shall be given unto me. He didn’t say how can I become prosperous, drive a new car, live in a big house, become popular, get promoted or anything like that. He simply said “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me”.
Understand that it takes a special kind of person that is able to say what shall I render instead of what can I get. That is a person that is mature. Selflessness is a mark of maturity. If you don’t believe that watch a 6yr old have a toy and a 2yr old cries because they want the toy and the 6yr old gives the toy to the 2yr old you will say Oh that’s a big boy that was such an unselfish thing you did you are such a mature little man. Well the writer of this psalms is mature because he is not asking what he can get from the Lord, but what shall he render. J.F. Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country”. Basically he was saying the same thing as the writer of this psalms was saying. The Bible says in Acts 20:35 “..It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The songwriter said “You can’t beat God giving no matter how you try. The more you give the more He gives to you just keep on giving because you know it’s true – you can’t beat God giving no matter how you try”.
If I were to ask the question “What is maturity”? I might receive answers like it means to “act your age and not your shoe size” This is because we have built in us this expectation in life that when you reach a certain age that you begin to act in a so-called appropriate fashion. We don’t expect a man 42 to act like a 2 year old child when they don’t get their way.
It is said and may even be a true statement in most cases that girls mature faster then boys. The thing about maturity is that everyone does not reach the same level of maturity nor do they mature at the same time; therefore, maturity is an individual function of life.
Maturity is different than growth. Growth happens because God ordained growth to take place, but maturity is a choice. A perfect example is Michael Jackson, he grew up physically because that is what God ordained, but he chose not to mature properly that’s is why he feels the way he feels.
There are many different sects of people that have what is called a “Rite of Passage” and at a certain age they perform some kind of ceremonial practice that symbolizes the move from childhood to adulthood. The thing about this ceremonial practice is it is often, more times then not, something that is done in order to impress man and to win the favor of man rather than it is a true show of maturity. For Example: There is a tribe of Africans that when a boy reaches a certain age they perform this ritual where they climb to extraordinary heights, tie a vine around their ankles, and jump to the ground below hoping that before they hit the ground the vine will tighten thus dangling them above the ground. The one that jumps from the highest height is considered the one mature enough to rule or to go to the next level – simply because they have impressed man. The problem is just because man was impressed by the move of an individual does not mean that the person is mature. It simply means that they understand politics – an act or service that moves man is politics. It doesn’t mean that they are responsible or even understand what comes next.