What does it mean to be an adult? After spending a lot of time with people I’m come face to face with immature behavior daily.
It’s not easy to behave as a mature person even when you’re a believer and following the Lord as we should. In writing a blog, it’s easy to fall into topics where everything seems wrong with people and the world. So, I’ll try keep my focus on what’s right with me, my attitude, behavior and communication, the abc’s of life and relationships. We learn best not from criticism but from seeing those who've got it right being a living example.
An “adult” simply is “a person who is not a child and is over the age of 20, at least in the Bible. We know society keeps changing that rule, still, from conception through the age of 19, Adonai says we’re children. So a boy under the age of 20 is a child and a man is a male age 20 or over. Same with a female; under the age of 20 she is a child and a woman if 20 or older.
Adonai takes these roles seriously because anyone over the age of 19, 20 to 90 years old who speaks against the Lord, he takes away their land, their home in other words. I don’t know how that works nowadays for many unbelieving 20 years olds and up are not on the street. Rather they likely live with their parents or a friend, they don’t work, live off welfare or food stamps and if asked to do a household chore to help out, they act insulted.
So, how do you focus on what Philippians 4: 9 says: continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respectable, and do what you learned . . . and the God who gives peace will be with you?
It took me years to reach even a small measure of maturity and I’m still not there, which is one reason I turn to the Bible for the answers. I’m seventy-eight and not certain I’ll reach the goal. What I do know is men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled [not drunk or lustful], sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. And women likewise are to be respectful in their behavior, not slanderers or given to excess wine. Rather they are to teach others what is good and train the young women to [show] love to their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, work at home [so they’re present for their children to teach them], kind, and submissive to their own husbands, so the word of God is respected.
I grew up in a household of criticism and that’s what I learned to be, a critique. Still as I grew up and my thinking changed, I also began to seek answers for what was wrong, what I criticized in other but in myself as well. It was when the Lord entered my life and I began to read the Bible, then I found the answers and it became my go-to for all kinds of problems even as a counselor, no especially as a counselor. The following scripture is very specific.
The Bible teaches, I must tell everyone how to live in a way that agrees with the true teaching. Teach the older men to have self-control, to be serious, and to be wise. They must be strong in faith, in love, and in patience. Also, teach the older women to live the way those who serve the Lord should live. We know you’re an adult at the age of twenty, but what exactly do they mean when speaking of ‘older woman,’ older than what? There’s an expression, ‘older than dirt’ which means you’ve been around a while. I suppose at age 78, I’ve been around a while.
People should not go around saying bad things about others or not be in the habit of drinking too much. They should teach what is good. By doing this they will teach the younger women to love their husbands and children. They will teach them to be wise and pure, to take care of their homes, to be kind, and to be willing to serve their husbands. Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us.
In the same way, tell the young men to be wise and you should be an example in every way by the good things you do. When you teach, be honest and serious. And your teaching should be clearly right so you cannot be criticized. Then anyone who is against you will be ashamed. There will not be anything bad they can say about us.
And tell this to those who are slaves: [nowadays, we don’t have slaves but we work for others]. Be willing to serve your masters at all times; try to please them, not argue with them; not steal from them; and show the master they can be trusted. Then, in everything they do, they will show the teaching of God our Savior is good.
That is the way we should live, because God's grace has come. That grace can save everyone. It teaches us not to live against God nor to do the bad things the world wants to do. It teaches us to live on earth in a wise and right way—a way that shows true devotion to God.
We should live so while we are waiting for the coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our hope and will come with glory. He gave himself for us. He died to free us from all evil and died to make us pure—people who belong only to him and who always ‘want’ to do good. [We of course, don’t always do good] These are the things you should tell people. Encourage them, and when they are wrong, correct them. You have full authority to do this, so don't let anyone think they can ignore you. --Titus 2:1-15
I could write an article or blog a dozen pages long but these few verses say everything we need to hear and do. If you’re striving to achieve these goals and doing a fairly good job of it, most of the time, then I’d say you’re well on your way to maturity.
One other section I always mention is 1Corinthians 13:4-7 on love, because while the above is what the apostle Paul focused on, Jesus said, it’s all about love, love of God and one another. Next time, I’ll be focusing on love and how to achieve it.