Psychological maturity is "taking responsibility" for oneself, avoiding "denial" in its many forms ("defense mechanisms"). Spiritual maturity is taking responsibility for others--"my brother's keeper." It takes a lifetime, and then it's never learned permanently, but becomes a product of understanding that "in Christ" I can faithfully do it in wisdom and love. But when I'm not "walking in the Spirit," I revert quickly to carnal, selfish thinking, undoing sometimes in one "goof" years of faithfulness as an "older brother or sister" in Christ.
Therefore spiritual maturity is tied to our response to God's correction, which keeps us humble and "looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." It's a unique approach I believe the Holy Spirit quickened to me for a course at Teen Missions, Merritt Island, Fl. It's unique because of the reality that all of life is about correction. Solomon wrote, "Reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress" (Pr.6:23b). "To understand what it has to do with a woman", read chapter 7 in the prison book--"God's Correction Department, Plan A."
The course is in outline form--from 175 to 350 pages, depending on spacing and font size. I would like to reduce its length, when and if I ever get enough time. I posted half the course on the web in 1998 and will again begin posting it if anyone notifies me of his or her need for it. If you're interested, let me know after reading these two introductory outlines. The first is Seven Characteristics of Spiritual Maturity, a description of what each stage looks like as we develop. The second is a basic outline of the course. Check it out and see where you are in your understanding of your walk with God. Because remember, maturity is never something we arrive at, or the well-known spiritual giants would never "fall." They fall into sin or error simply through--well, that's what this course is all about: how to "stay afloat" even when you mess up badly.