Growing up into a mature and responsible adult is a tricky and testing adventure.
It is an adventure that can be full of mistakes and set backs, one blunder after another. The saying, “One step forward, and two steps backward,” frequently describes the process of growing up.
The whole process of maturing, or ‘growing up’, is something many of us would rather avoid!
But . . . it is a fact of life — growing up must happen!
Becoming a responsible and useful adult is the goal of growing up, at least for everyone that is sensible.
But how do we learn to grow up?
Learning to Grow Up
The Bible has much to say regarding this ‘adventure’ of growing up. If we are going to avoid troubles and problems in the growing up process, then taking the advice of the written Scriptures will result in fewer mistakes and grief.
A good passage of Scripture to start heeding is in 1 John:
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passes away, and the lust thereof:
but he that does the will of God abides for ever.
Why is it that Father God warns us to not ‘love the world’?
Because ‘the world’ [its methods, values, and philosophy] is passing away. It is temporary. The sooner we grasp this truth in our efforts to mature, the better.
This world is just a ‘training ground’, a ‘testing ground’. This world is only a place to refine us, prepare us, and make us ready for the permanent, un-seen, spiritual realm — the eternal Kingdom of Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God].
But this world’s enticements and pleasures are very attractive to young people. Yahuwah knows this.
So over and over, He warns us:
- Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…(1John 2:15a)
- Be not conformed to this world…. (Romans 12:2a)
- The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God…. (1Corinthians 3:19a)
Do not be taken in by the earthly and sensual pleasures of this world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life! Such things are defiling, corrupt, and will only hijack our innocence.
And “Friendship with the world is hatred toward God!” (James 4:4)
The Beauty of a Pure Life
The writer of Psalms 119 gives us a major clue in the goal of growing up.
The psalmist asks a question of Yahuwah, and immediately he receives the answer:
How can a young person live a pure life? By obeying Your Word. (Psalms 119:9)
The beauty of a pure life before Yahuwah Elohim begins with, and is maintained by, obedience to Yah’s written Word — the Bible.
This is one of the goals of growing up — to live a life of purity, which is a beautiful and honourable life!
A life of purity is a healthy, thriving, flourishing life, one that promises much fruitfulness.
The world will tell you that a life of purity is a dream, a fantasy — it’s impossible. And yes, if you fall victim to ‘loving the world and the things in the world’, then purity is a fantasy.
But what is our goal in growing up??
Do we want to live a life that commands respect and honour, not only among our peers, put also within our own heart?
Yahuwah’s Word tells us The Way to have a pure and clean life — by obeying His written Word!
A pure and clean life is the foundation of a life that is mature and respectable. A pure and clean life is the groundwork for having a life that is confident and free from misery and shame.
But we need the heavenly Father’s help! We cannot walk in purity in our own strength.
We need to look to Yahuwah for His salvation, for His strength and grace, and rely on Him to help us grow up and maintain a pure life. We must look to Him to help us grow up into mature, responsible, and honourable adults. With His help, we can do what may seem impossible!
When our hearts are trusting in Yah, moment by moment, to bring us into maturity, then we can trust His Word to be fulfilled on our behalf, as Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ] told us:
And Yahushua [Jesus] looking upon them said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)
Growing up into a mature and responsible adult is a wonderful objective for the energetic and optimistic youth. Father God puts it on the hearts of the young to want the best, and to eagerly search out the adventure of growing up. He tells us it is possible to grow up into a life that is pure, fulfilling, and honourable!
But as I said, growing up is a tricky and testing adventure. It is an adventure that can be full of mistakes and set-backs.
We must grasp the truth that Yahuwah created us according to an eternal design!
If we choose to reject His design, and rebel against His eternal purposes and guidelines, it will only mean heartache and grief (Romans 2:8-9).
If we choose to accept His design, and follow His instructions and guidelines, then even in the midst of our trials and struggles, Father will bless us and guide us through, by His Holy Spirit (Psalms 15:1-2 and Psalms 128:1).
Yahuwah promises us that things will be well with those who honour Him with their trust and obedience (See Deuteronomy 28:1-14)!! In other words, we will be “blessed”. . .
Blessed [happy] are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the Torah of Yahuwah [the LORD]. Blessed [happy] are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart. (Psalms 119:1-2)
The wonderful verses from Psalms 119 give us many clues for achieving the goal of becoming a mature and responsible and honourable adult, as well as avoiding the pitfalls of shame, misery, and disgrace.
I encourage you to read through Psalms 119, and look for those prayers that give insights on how to avoid shame and misery.
Here are just two of them:
O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto [regard with favor] all Your commandments. (Psalms 119:5-6)
Let my heart be sound in [be complete and undefiled by obeying] Your statutes; that I be not ashamed. (Psalms 119:80)
God Has Plans For You
Being young and energetic is a great blessing that is given to us by our Creator. He delights in our enthusiasm. But He also cautions us in our youth:
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth,…
but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh:
for childhood and youth are vanity [emptiness and vanishing away].
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth….
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep His commandments:
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment,
with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
These Scriptures are reminders for us to shun any ‘love of the world’ and to remember that our Creator has plans for each one of us, plans for good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). We will know the joy of heaven on earth if we will keep our eyes on Father’s eternal plans for us, always seeking His help to be pleasing to Him.
Let us be diligent to remember, that this world is temporary. This world is passing away! All that is of this natural world — the love of money, personal ambition, natural affections, the appetites of the body — these things must be laid down before Yahuwah. The things of ‘Self’ must be before the Father in same way as that of our Saviour: “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who has sent me” (John 5:30b).
This world’s enticements to embrace the lustful passions of ‘carpe diem‘ are deceptive lies from the dark and wicked realm of Satan: The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble (Proverbs 4:10).
Father’s warnings to the youth are meant to encourage soberness about this brief lifetime because, there is a Day — a special Day is coming Dear Reader, when God will bring all things into judgment:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad. (2Corinthians 5:10)
Obedience to Father’s written Word, along with the abundant, enabling grace from the Holy Spirit, are the central ingredients for making it into maturity with honour and respect.
Without God’s help, we are sunk!!
But with His help, and the guidance from His Word, we are strengthened, protected, and encouraged to persevere to the end: “being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be yours at the revelation of Yahushua Messiah [Jesus Christ]” (1Peter 1:13b).
With His help, we can be His obedient children, maintain a pure lifestyle, and endure through the trials because — He is able to keep us from falling (Hebrews 7:25)!
May each one of us purpose to keep our eyes on the things that are eternal, so that we may be established in fulfilling our Creator’s plans and purposes for us — ordained for us before the world began!
The adventure of growing up, and becoming mature followers of Messiah, is truly an adventure that everyone should desire.
But the first step of our journey into maturity, arriving with gladness, contentment, respect, and honour, begins with . . .
looking to, and trusting in, our Creator, and determining to “love not the world, nor the things that are in the world!”
- The Pathway of Purity
- The Key to Gaining Understanding
- Your Body – The Temple of The Living God – learning more about the significance of our body as a set-apart, holy, and valuable treasure
- Walking in Newness of Life
- Only The Wise Shall Understand
- Just The Facts Ma’am: Help For Growing in Grace
- Growing Up In Messiah