Simple everyday things used in life by adults can be hurtful, even deadly if they are in the hands of children.
In fact there is a whole industry devoted to child-proofing your house to protect them from hurting themselves or others.
Unfortunately, there is not as much to protect us from adults who refuse to grow up.
Life can be quite painful, even dangerous, for anyone who happens to be in the lives of such individuals.
Those who refuse to grow up are like babies who like to play with power tools… someone is bound to eventually get hurt.
I couldn’t wait for the day to be “grown up” enough to get my driver’s license, and enjoy the advantage of driving.
But when I lost a friend in the 7th grade who was killed while joy-riding with a very immature 16 year old who was showing off while driving; I realized a license did not make a kid immediately into a grown-up.
The driver’s life would be forever changed because he accidently caused my friend to lose his life, and critically injure another kid who was also riding in his car.
In his hands, the simple family car had become a deadly weapon.
As a kid I remember watching a few other “grown-ups’ act like irresponsible spoiled children because they were selfish and/or so easily offended.
It broke my heart to see them do things that negatively affected their families over and over.
They were so self-absorbed, they didn’t seem to even notice or care how their words and actions cut deeper into their loved ones than any sharp tool in their garage.
I am sure we could swap similar stories for hours of grown-ups who were not grown up at all, and how they were dangerous to themselves or others.
Certainly news headlines describe more scandalous stories about people like this, than any of us can even stomach to read.
One question is how would you define what a “grown-up” is in the first place?
Is it taking responsibility or is it being loving?
Or is it both?
What other traits are needed to be considered a true grown-up?
Can we even make such a list?
Other questions to ask ourselves are,
“How do we know if we are growing up?”
“Are there any areas we are still prone to hurt others in because of our immaturity?”
Who would you say is a role model for a ‘real grown-up’ in the fullest sense of the word?
One person many would agree is Jesus.
Think about all the amazing ways He conducted Himself… often in very difficult circumstances.
Through His Work at Calvary, did you know His Spirit can actually live and dwell in US?
Does that mean His maturity can also flow through His Spirit in us and help us grow to be more like Him? Absolutely!
There is actually a list of nine ways to describe the effects of the Holy Spirit helping us to grow up like Him.
The list is actually an expression of critical capabilities that the reality of the indwelling Christ, living out of us, can help us have in every situation we face.
Described as the “Fruit of the Spirit,” the list can reveal the relative maturity of anyone of any age in regards to revealing the Character of Christ.
“Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control…” (Gal 5:22)
These are all characteristics of The Lord Himself, and when a believer actively yields to the Spirit’s prompting in his heart and mind, they can be characteristics of those individuals as well… despite the natural personality tendencies they may have been born with.
Think about how most of the pain we all cause each other is from a lack of a quality on the list above.
My friend lost his life because of a 16 year old without self-control, who could have been great in the other 8 qualities.
What would our family and community life be like if there was no shortage of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… ?
What’s grown-up look like? I guess a lot less unnecessary pain and a lot more like Heaven this side of the grave!