Thursday, June 14, 2012

Skills For Becoming A Mature Adult

Well, here we are at the end of the Changes That Heal series. I always like to go over what was discussed, so real quick, we talked about how we need three ingredients in our lives in order for real growth to take place: grace, truth, and time. We talked about how grace and truth should never, never, no never be separated, they must always stay together, and then of course we need time for grace and truth to do their work.

We then went on and talked about four identifying personality traits of God that we need to emulate in our own lives: Bonding with other, separating from others, sorting out the issues of good and bad, and growing up into adulthood.

So here we go with our last personality trait of God that we need to have evidenced in our own lives.

Listed below are some of the skills you will need in order to become your own master under God, for they are skills that will help you become a mature adult:

Skills For Becoming A Mature Adult:

Reevaluate Beliefs:
 We need to evaluate what we believe. We can't live our lives because of, as Dr. Cloud calls them, " inherited beliefs." We need to have adult faith. There must come a time when we question not only what we believe, but also why we believe what we believe. 

Dr Cloud points out that "we need to look into why we think what we think and why we believe what we believe. Is it because we really believe it, or because someone told us to believe it? We need to recognize  what is a belief of "tradition" versus what is a real heartfelt conviction from God, his Word, and our own experience. This questioning period could last a while. But, when we are through, we will have developed a mind of our own."

How many times have you spoke with somebody and they said, " this is what I've always believed," or " this is what my church has always taught," now this could be "right belief", or it could be "wrong belief," but the other question is why do you believe these things?

An adult faith is borne from careful study of God's word and having those truths penetrate our souls. The truth of God's word becomes how our world view is formed and shaped. An adult faith has had both the mind and the heart touched and informed by the transformative power of God's truth. 

Disagree with Authority Figures:
An adult has no issue disagreeing with others. We must develop the mindset that there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with others, in fact in order to be an adult we must disagree with others. Disagreeing with others gives us an identity---now keep in mind we don't disagree just for the sake of being contrary, nor do we disagree with an haughty attitude, nor do with disagree without having all the facts, that would just be foolishness. Disagreement is healthy, it is "ironing sharpening iron."

Discipline Yourself:
Cloud notes, "Adults discipline themselves. Proverbs says to "Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her way and be wise, which having no chief officer  or ruler, prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest (6:6 NASB, italics mine). The key phrase here is "having no chief, officer or ruler." In other words, the ant is not under another ant's authority, yet takes responsibility for her tasks."

One can't be an adult without self discipline and that always starts with taking responsibility for your own actions. 

I sit on a youth advisory board for first time juvenile offenders--the one thing that we emphasize to those young teens is individual responsibility. As one teen sat before the board it was so refreshing to hear him tell the board, " I own up to what I did,  I take full responsibility for my actions, and I'm willing to accept any consequence from the board," wow, it sounded like music to my ears.

This makes me think of the passage in Romans "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." (14:12). There is certainly the thread of individual responsibility woven throughout the entire Bible--and this verse in Romans is inescapable.

To God be the glory, great things He hathdone;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life, an atonement for sin,
And opened the lifegate, that all may go in.

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