On Becoming an Independent, Responsible, Successful Adult Part 1

On Becoming an Independent, Responsible, Successful Adult
I. If God gives grace, there comes a time for all to transition from childhood to adulthood.
A. The adult puts away childish ways. 1CO 13:11.
B. This doesn’t happen overnight nor is it pegged to a birthday. An 18-year old may or may
not be ready for independence: it depends upon the level of maturity.
C. Youth needs to gradually develop mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually to
prepare for being an independent, responsible, successful adult.
D. For various reasons (nature, cultural influences, poor training, rebellion, weakness, etc.),
the mental, emotional and spiritual growth of a young person do not generally keep pace
with the development of the body and its desires and needs.
E. Young people: if you expect to be treated as an independent adult, start thinking and acting
with the responsibility and maturity that befits a responsible, mature adult. PSA 144:12.
F. Godly parents of adolescents strive to steer between the extremes of unrelenting tight-
fisted control of a growing youth and prematurely granting full independence to a youth whose only maturing part is the body.
II. Definitions.
A. youth: The fact or state of being young... 2. The time when one is young; the early part or
period of life; more specifically, the period from puberty till the attainment of full growth,
between childhood and adult age.
B. adolescence: The process or condition of growing up; the growing age of human beings;
the period which extends from childhood to manhood or womanhood; youth; ordinarily
considered as extending from 14 to 25 in males, and from 12 to 21 in females.
C. adult: adj. 1. a. Grown up, having reached the age of maturity... b. Of persons:
characteristically mature in attitude, outlook, etc.
III. Youth is a time of relative ignorance and immaturity which must be guided.
PRO 29:15; 2:17 c/w 1KI 1:6.
A. Adolescence is a time of great potential and transition to adulthood and independence. If this time is misused, it brings judgment. ECC 11:9.
B. Instruction from Scripture, parents and pastor can, if heeded, save youth from a lifetime of regret over the sins of youth. PSA 25:7.
1. Many are the lives that never fully recover physically, emotionally, mentally,
financially or socially from the sinful things done in youth.
2. Others have a way of bringing those things to your remembrance.
JOB 13:26; 20:11.
3. Worse yet, even though God may have forgiven the sins of one's youth, the memory of them is still there, sometimes indelibly impressed upon our minds. And what the mind can't delete, it replays to the conscience.
4. Young people, you DON'T want to end up as one who cries PRO 5:11-13.
a. You don’t want to be given premature independence like the prodigal son
insisted upon. LUK 15:11-16 c/w PRO 1:32.
b. If you think you are ready for independence, sit down with your parents and
do the math as to what it takes to survive in this culture.
c. Be realistic. This world is not going to turn its wealth over to you, be your
friend or treat you with respect if you lack a marketable skill, initiative or good character.
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IV. As noted above, the time of youth and burgeoning adolescence is one of a maturing of the body and of a heightened desire for independence.
A. The maturing of the body requires no effort; it is virtually inevitable.
B. The maturing of the mind and the character are a different story.
C. Young people: do not assume that just because your body is looking more like an adult's body means that you are mature.
1. True maturity is a condition built by proper character development and that requires
learning, discipline of one's thinking, control of one’s desires and spirit, patience, trustworthiness, sense of duty, and responsibility for the consequences of one’s own decisions.
2. Insistence on fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind is not indicative of a soul yearning for independence but rather judgment. EPH 2:3.
D. Parents need to keep character development of youth at the forefront, a difficult task if the parent is still immature.
1. The parent who is more interested in making a buddy out of a youth than training the youth to have good character is doing the youth a disservice.
2. Parents who try to live vicariously through their youth to satisfy their own warped view of fullness or compensate for their own insecurities are thinking of themselves more than their child.
E. Our culture is already awash with physically mature people who still think and act like children.
1. We don't need to be adding to that problem; neither should we be conformed to that model. ROM 12:1-2.
2. Though Solomon was an adult when he came to power, he knew that what he needed was wisdom. 1KI 3:7-9.
3. His son, Rehoboam, assumed that age and heritage were all that were needed to rule in Israel but his naivety and arrogance split the kingdom.
2CH 12:13-14; 13:7 c/w 1KI 12:12-20.
F. Independence is not an unqualified right marked by a birthday or education level.
1. Whereas parents do well to guide their children towards independence in due
course, full independence granted unto youth who have not proven themselves
worthy of it will most likely be their ruin, as with the prodigal son.
2. Consider the second clause of PRO 29:15.
3. Consider responsibility. Parents should mete out opportunities for independent
action according to youth's ability and trustworthiness.
a. Putting confidence in anyone who has proven themselves unfaithful is pain
for all involved. PRO 25:19.
b. One must be faithful in small things if he expects to be entrusted with
greater things. LUK 16:10; 19:17.
4. Independence is never the liberty to do wrong, nor even the liberty to do whatever
one feels like doing (GAL 5:13). It is rather the privilege of thinking and acting responsibly in the presence or absence of oversight. PHIL 2:12.
a. A real test of character is not what one does when someone is watching but
what one does when nobody else is around.
b. Another valid test of character is not the good that one is forced to do but the
good that one does of his own choice.
(1) “The choices of life, not the compulsions, reveal character.”
(A.W. Tozer)
(2) Doing good should be a willing, not grudging endeavor. 2CO 9:7.
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V. Consider the Biblical concept of maturity.
A. LUK 2:52 describes the maturing of Jesus Christ. Maturity consists of more than physical
B. Wisdom is set forth as the highest level of human development; it is the standard of
maturity. PRO 4:7-13; 8:12-21.
1. principal: First or highest in rank or importance; that is at the head of all the rest; of
the greatest account or value; foremost.
2. Wisdom brings life to its fullest potential but if sinned against brings the opposite.
PRO 8:34-36.
C. All wisdom is treasured up in the Lord Jesus Christ. COL 2:3.
1. He is the absolute standard of all that it means to be mature. Conformity to Him IS maturity. EPH 4:13-15.
2. There is no true maturity apart from being a Christian, striving continually to be more Christ-like in thinking and conduct.
3. His selfless devotion to righteous principle earned Him exaltation and independent authority. HEB 1:8-9; 1TI 6:14-15.
D. The most mature decision a young person can make is to resolve to follow Christ.
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