There is a shop close by that sells all kinds of ice cream. When I have a hankering for an ice cream, I head there. I can get the cheap kind or I can spend a little more and get something really special. A splurge might as well be a splurge in every way, right? And, it should be a bit of trouble, so you don't splurge often.
Well, let me just say that my most recent splurge was something of a disappointment. The ice cream was less than satisfying. It was about half the size of what I was expecting. The packaging was the same, but it was half the size. Think "one for the price of two." Instead of looking on the bright side (half the calories as before) I was irritated. I had not received the full measure of an ice cream, even though I had paid for it in cash. I may (may!) have even quashed my occasional ice cream splurge for good.
Full measure, once we've seen the standard, is easy to identify. We know when we've given it, and received it. We know what it is and isn't. God knows, too. He gave it. He longs for us to replicate his gift as we grow into the likeness of his beautiful, only-begotten son. It's a measure of maturity--of "grown up-ness"--not of kitchen ingredients, and it happens through love, attention, and the gift (and gifts) of the Holy Spirit. We don't achieve that measure of fullness as much as we cooperate toward it--with Christ and with one another.
I wasn't satisfied with the ice cream. I expected more. I know fullness when I see it. My prayer is that I will long for it in every way, even as I grow up into the fullness of Christ, who is God's great gift to me.
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
Ephesians 4: 11-14, NLT