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

Foolish

wisdom, stupidity road signThere are many circumstances where I’ve felt foolish before. I’ve done some foolish things and been embarrassed more times than I can count. I usually look foolish when I try to look so smart. It’s better for me to let people think I’m very smart than to open my mouth and let them know I’m not! LOL! Smart people look even smarter around foolish people. I think smart people are a bit overrated though. I’ve seen smart people without common sense. I’ve seem smart people do dumb things. I’ve seem foolish people do smart things.

The Apostle Paul was reminded the church at Corinth that even the smartest people in God’s economy may not be “top of the class” in the world’s economy. Check this out…

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. 19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and I will set aside the intelligence of the intelligent.

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? 21 For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of what is preached.

24 Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, 25 because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:18-21; 24-24 CSB)

I would rather be called foolish in the world’s eyes and wise in the Lord’s eyes. I don’t believe that my faith in God is always logical. I don’t believe that my decisions will always make sense to an unbeliever. I want the Lord to lead my life how He sees fit. I want to follow Him and His ways in my personal journey as well as my business life. I don’t think that there should be a different standard for each. In fact, I think it would be hypocritical of me to act one way at church and another way in business.  This may not make sense to business people, but the Lord is the Ruler of everything including my business. Everything I have and everything I know is subject to Him, without exception.

The Lord’s wisdom is profound.

The Lord’s wisdom trumps any decision that I think I might make.

I trust Him.

He is not illogical or “out there”. He is ALWAYS “spot on” with His Wisdom and insight.

I may be foolish in some people’s eyes, but I want to be brilliant in God’s perspective – that may mean being foolish for His call upon my life.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Bad Looks Good

 

Blue woman eye macro shotI have been attracted to bad things many times over the years. Bad things come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Bad things can come from bad people or good people. It is often hard to discern if something is bad or good early on. I need to keep my boundaries clearly in site and in place. The Lord provides me with excellent discernment if I will listen to His Spirit in me.

David penned an excellent passage about boundaries and choosing good over bad. Check this out…

I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
    when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
    on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do;
    I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
    I will have nothing to do with what is evil. (Psalm 101:1-4 NIV)

I was taught growing up that you are known by the people you hang out with. I’ve even said that to my kids because in the eyes of authorities, if you’re hanging out with kids who are breaking the law, then you must be participating in that too. It is not easy taking the road less traveled when others are on the superspeedway of self-destruction. I must keep my hearts eyes focused on following the Lord and listening to His direction for my life. He makes me wise beyond my years. He makes me effective beyond my experience. He gives me insight that often only years of experience could compete with.

I want to walk in the Light of His Word and His calling upon my life. I want to choose good over bad; light over darkness every day that I live. Bad looks good, but then looks can be deceiving. I must look beyond good looks or appearances to what really matters. I remember my Mom telling me that “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone!”

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Foolish or Wise

wisdom, stupidity road signI’ve been around some incredibly wise people. I enjoy hearing the story of their journey through life and the lessons learned. Wise people aren’t through learning.  I’ve also been around some foolish people. They only live for today and they’ve learned little from their journey. They keep making the same mistakes repeatedly. Foolish people aren’t teachable.

I came across this Psalm of David this morning that made me stop and think about which category I fit in to.  I do think of myself as wise for the most part- but I certainly have my share of foolish moments. Check this out…

The fool says in his heart,
    ‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God. (Psalm 53:1-2 NIV)

I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of saying: “There is no God”. My choices have sometimes screamed that out as I wandered from God. I have made bad decisions that haunt me to this day as stupid. I can say I love God all I want, buy my daily choices either back that up or make me out to be a liar.

I want to walk with the Lord daily.

I want to seek His counsel daily.

I want to make choices that speak to my faith in Him.

I want the activities of my day to point to Him as the Life Changer that He is.

I want the Lord to find me faithful when He looks upon my heart and my life. It’s not “rocket science” or some mathematical equation – It is simple obedience.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Young & Stupid

happy and motivated old people 3dI’m not going to name names other than myself but I do agree with the fact that when we are young, we do stupid things. We certainly say stupid things as well. I remember a stupid thing I did while in High School and I’m embarrassed to think I could get away with it. I remember one incident where I concocted this huge story to cover myself only to later find out my Dad really didn’t believe my story. I’ve got plenty of stories about being young and stupid. In my house, stupid is an “s” word that I don’t use to describe others. I feel freedom to call my-myself out for sure. I also feel freedom to describe certain behavior as stupid. It is not my intent to label someone who exhibits stupid behavior as “stupid”. It’s mostly ignorance – that’s a safer call – LOL!

I wouldn’t mind being 20 years old again, but only if I could know what I know now about life and about the Lord.

Israel & Judah’s history is full of very young (and stupid acting at times) kings. The one I read about this morning was 20 years old when he became king. Check this out….

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree. (2 Kings 16:1-4 NIV)

I did a little history study to find some young kings throughout more recent history. King Henry VI was one of the youngest at 8 Months old. It’s obvious that he couldn’t do much as king at that age, but his mother and those around him could certainly help. I can only imagine as he became a teenager and adolescent thinking set it – what kind of king was he then.

This young man Ahaz really disobeyed profoundly where the Lord wanted to take this nation of Judah. He didn’t follow any instructions from his Dad who was king. He obviously was “smarter than everyone else”. I can imagine that older people were afraid of a king so young and impulsive.

As if reflected on what it would be like to be 20 again, I realize that this is foolishness – I’m getting older not younger. If I can get any 20 year olds to listen, I would remind them to seek counsel from older and wiser people. One older gentlemen told me one time, “I don’t know all the things that will work, but I know a lot of things that won’t work because I’ve tried them!”

I was also reminded that even though I’m over 50, I still desperately need wise counsel even today. I’m learning to talk to the Lord about everything. There are situations that I face in life all along the way that I’ve needed help with. When I was young and stupid, I thought I knew how to handle all of that. I’m finally wising up and learning to listen and ask great questions. There’s more wisdom in asking great questions – it will keep me from being a “know-it-all”. It could also prevent me from being “old and stupid”!

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Cool Under Pressure

Four Principles of Management Leadership - GearsThere are very few people who one day they are help captive in a dungeon and then things changed and they were second in command of the whole country. That is what happened to Joseph. He was imprisoned because of false accusations, but he kept his faith in God. On this particular he was sent for because Pharaoh had experienced a bad dream and the wise men and officials serving the king could not explain the dream. Check this out…

14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’

16 ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’ (Genesis 41:14-16 NIV)

So Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and in those dreams the Lord is revealing 7 really good years of food and 7 really lean years without food. Joseph also reveals a plan to be prepared. He suggested that Pharaoh build storehouses and store food the seven good years and appoint officials to organized the storage facilities and be prepared when the seven bad years come. Check this out…

37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’ (Genesis 41:37-40 NIV)

Joseph had a deep relationship with the Lord and it showed in his words, his posture, and all of his behavior. I believe his wise and discerning spirit is what got him noticed. He was calm, cool and collected in front of the king because God’s Spirit was inside him. He completely trusted God with his destiny and not what he could do on his own gifts, talent or ability. History reveals that Pharaoh made a good decision that day to trust Joseph with the leadership of this huge project. Joseph proved his wise and discerning heart many times over.

Pressing On!

Dwayne