Hearing Leads to Maturing

Do you ever wonder how we could have such a vast array of translations of the Bible?  In seminary, they used to say, “You are reading someone else’s mail.”  In other words, as we seek to understand the writer’s intentions and the culture in which they lived, we often get different translations.

Occasionally, however, different words have two meanings and when the second meaning is inserted, it changes everything.

Bible translations
Bible translations

Word Study: Perfect Versus Mature

Here’s an example:  “Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48).

This statement is a perfectionist’s nightmare.

The perfectionist’s  belief system that one must not do anything wrong leads to paralyzation and a lot of unnecessary guilt.

However, did you know the word perfect in the Greek, telios, also means mature?

Ahhh, that changes everything:

“Be mature, therefore, as your heavenly father is mature.”

God is looking for maturity in his kids, not perfection.

This moves us away from a performance mentality into a relational mindset.

Word Study: Obey Versus Hear

Here’s another example which confirms my statement.

The word “hear, shama,”which is used in Hebrew 6:4, “Hear, oh Israel,” is also translated as “obey.”

Did you realize that 65 times in the King James translation of  the Old Testament, the word hear is mistranslated as obey? (Truth in Translation by Frances Werner, page 32).

Why would King James want people to believe that obedience was what God wanted?

Think about it:  obedience calls us into “right behavior.”  When people are behaving as leaders want, they have an easier time, or even greater, the people they lead can be more easily manipulated.

Too many of us believe “obedience” is what God wants from us.  And, when we screw up, he is up in heaven shaking his finger at us in anger.

However, as we live into our reclaimed identity as beloved children valued in God’s family, we discover he isn’t interested in obedience or perfection nearly as much as he is interested in hearing and maturity.

Obedience leads us to punishment.

Hearing leads us to relationship.

Hearing from God?

Here’s another area where I am often challenged.

      “You really believe God speaks to you?  Personally?  Like outside of the Bible?


Yes, I do believe it because I live it daily….all day long.

Good dads speak to their kids.  http://www.reclaimidentity.org/our-dad-is-not-mad-trust-reclaimed.html

We have a good dad.  He loves us dearly and unconditionally.  He wants to show us how to live not so he can punish us when we screw up, but because when we live as mature spiritual adults, we are living a reclaimed kingdom lifestyle which aligns us with our ID:  Identity and Destiny.  It leads to all the things we crave:  peace, fulfillment, joy….we crave them because we were created to live within them our entire lives.

As we deconstruct the destructive parts of our faith, let’s reconstruct our faith foundation.

  • We have a father who loves us unconditionally.
  • He is always partnering with us to bring about our good.
  • He wants to communicate with us because he is a relational God.
  • He will continue to train us so we can mature; living the satisfying life Jesus invited us to experience:

“The thief came to lie, steal and kill, but I, Jesus, came to give you an abundant, satisfying, fulfilling life.” (John 10:10)


I find it fascinating that the lying, stealing thief found a way to lead us down the wrong path even within the Scripture.

But, we are Reclaiming the Truth: Hearing Leads to Maturing!