Christian maturity is not tested when we are in groups, but when we are alone. In the secret, when no one is looking, and we have no friends to twist our arms into doing the right thing—that is when we prove and improve our maturity.
Having friends to obligate us and remind us that there are other people in the world relying on our ability to keep our moral code can help coerce good behavior. With other people watching, we are more likely to follow morals and thus not create regret, but this is no test of maturity. If you ever hope to become fully mature, you’re going to have to do the right thing when no one is looking—and that means you’re going to have to be alone sooner or later. Prepare yourself.
Have conversations with good friends. Take counsel and know that having demons to battle makes you more normal than not. But, don’t reduce your friends into a set of crutches. Friends are good for many more things than leaning on all the time. It’s much more fun to take a walk or run together, but that means many hours training on your own to make the group runs all the more formidable.
There is a lot of money made on keeping Christians dependent on systems that only make them weak. The same goes for many consulting companies that maintain a status of “being needed” by offering “solutions” that only perpetuate problems. Sunday morning Christian “church” is great when it’s not a need. But, once it becomes a “need”, that’s when the abuse starts. Jesus is your only “need”, everything else is a “want”, including your friends.
When evaluating any business proposal or Christian fellowship, watch to see what their demands are. Do they try to collect a list of your associates, suppliers, addresses, or phone numbers? Do they get money in a way that perpetuates an existence that only keeps asking for money? Many big companies fall into “marketing scams” because they are bored and never learn to identify scams in personal, social circles, including Christian societies. The way to see through any scam is to grow strong alone.