Maturity

 

happy and motivated old people 3dWhen I hear the word mature, I think of an older person – usually older than me! This word means fully developed, ripe & complete in growth. I also think of wisdom, discernment and insight as I ponder the word maturity. I learned a long time ago that maturity is not always connected with age. I’ve met lots of very young people who were mature in many areas of their lives. I’ve also met lots of older people (mature in age) who were very immature and reckless in many areas of their lives. Maturity is somewhat subjective, objective and relative. I can “appear” mature, and in some areas of my life, I might display immaturity.

The Hebrew writer speaks about spiritual immaturity. I want to keep growing spiritually. I want to know the Lord more intimately. I want to grow in my trust of Him. Check this out…

11 We have a great deal to say about this, and it is difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14 CSB)

In the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of being around my grandchildren. These little ones just melt my heart for sure. I was reminded of my own kids when they were small and started out with a milk only diet. They moved to cereal, then vegetables and then later added meat to their diet. It was a process of preparing the digestive system for the different levels of food. The spiritual analogy of the Hebrew writer is simple; I ought to be on a mature spiritual diet, but I’m often back to the basics of baby food.

My journey through the Word of God has built me in so many areas of my spiritual journey. The Word provides wisdom and discernment by the truckloads. The Word of God reminds me to guard the words that come from my mouth. The Word of God calls out my weaknesses and turns them into strengths. I want to become mature before I get old. I want to be full of wisdom and discernment that comes from The Lord. I don’t want to be mature to draw attention to me, but to point to Him. I’m simply a follower of the Lord who wants to finish well.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Old & Faithful

happy and motivated old people 3dI really admire older people. They have such great life experiences to share. I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do from the stories of older people in my life. They can usually tell you what won’t work. Before I go too far speaking about older people, I must admit that I’m closing in fast on that description myself. AARP has already started sending me invitations to join. I’ve resisted for now.

Solomon had such a remarkable journey, but unfortunately he didn’t finish strong. He became unfaithful when he got old. He loved women – lots of women. He had hundreds of wives and concubines. He started following their gods and this became detestable to the Lord. While their culture evidently allowed for multiple wives, I don’t believe that was the Creators plan for marriage.

4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. (1 Kings 11:4-6 NIV)

It’s a bit of a bummer that Solomon had followed the Lord so strongly and then when he got older, instead of getting stronger in his faith, he got weaker. I believe that at every age and stage of life, there will be “voices” trying to pull me away from my faith. I believe the enemy will use anyone or anything he can to erode or destroy my faith.   I believe that temptation will always be part of my journey, but the Lord can provide the strength I need to resist temptation.

Today is my 21st wedding anniversary. Tina and I have built a marriage and home centered on the Word of God. We want to follow Him all of our days. My life and my heart had been hurt deeply, but God made “beauty from the ashes”. I am so blessed and so thankful.

As I grow older, I want to be even more faithful in following the Lord. I want to hear from Him daily. I want His Wisdom to trump my experience and my knowledge. I know that every day I need Him to direct my path and speak into my heart. I’m thankful for my wife of 21 years, who also seeks after the Lord. I am blessed.

IMG_4570Pressing On!

Dwayne

Elderly People

happy and motivated old people 3dThere is a huge segment of our culture that often get overlooked and ignored. The often have wrinkles, gray hair and they move a bit slow. I do not intend my description be negative or derogatory. I’m simply stating the facts that there are elderly people around and I’m soon becoming one of them. In fact every person I know is older today than they were yesterday. (duh!) I think our culture could benefit from some of the instructions that Paul gives to Timothy. Check this out…

1 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NIV)

I remember that I used to think my parents were old even when I was twenty one. The fact is that “old” is a relative term. The 90-year-old man is old compared to an 80-year-old man. To a 15 year old kid, they are all old – including me at 52 (for now)!

I think elderly people are great, especially when they have a sense of humor. I’ve started working on my sense of humor so that when I’m old, I won’t be impatient and grouchy. I want to be full of life, funny and witty. I also want to be profoundly wise as an “old elderly man”, if I can live that long.

One of the reason, I think I should treat our elderly people with respect is that it’s honorable. One day if I live long enough, I’ll be and elderly man too. Another important reason to show respect for the elderly is that we’re standing on their shoulders to do the things we do today. They paved the way for the amazing country we live in and the lifestyle we enjoy.  In fact some of the elderly people in our culture created and invented things that our smart phones do for us today. 

I think Paul’s advice to treat older men as Dad and older women as Mom is brilliant and needed. I actually believe the one that gets blessed the most when I do this is me!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Getting Old

Elderly man prayingI probably shouldn’t say “I’m getting old” – the fact is that “OLD” is a relative term. Some people would say you’re only as old as you feel. That’s not necessarily true, but some age more gracefully than others. On most days I “feel” pretty young. On other days I feel older than my parents.  If I’m old then that means people older than me are really old.  I’m really pretty thankful to have lived a good life to this point. I think it was somewhere in my early 40’s that getting old became a sobering thought. I realized that life was really like a vapor or mist. I have heard it said that, “I’d rather make my days count, than to count my days.” Paul says something like that to the church at Corinth. Check this out….

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.(2 Corinthians 4:7-10; 16-18 NIV)

 

I want to be strong and faithful in the face of temptation.

I want to honor God with all my choices today and the rest of my days.

I want to lean on the Lord no matter if things are good or bad.

I want to be a positive influence for the Lord to others along this journey.

I want to have a positive attitude no matter what circumstances I’m in.

I want to love deeply because I’m loved beyond describing.

I want my faith in God to be clearly seen in how I live my life.

I want to live for what is eternal not the temporary things I see.

 

Living with the end in mind sure can keep me focused on Who and What really matters.

 

Pressing On!
Dwayne