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Growing up is something all kids and teenagers want to do. Parents long for a day when their children grow up become self-sufficient, independent and have a hopeful future. Growing up from childhood to adulthood is a process. Part of the process of growing up is making mistakes, learning, struggling and overcoming. Growing up includes starting middle school, getting a drivers license, high school graduation, college graduation, marriage and on and on. Those are proud moments that can define our lives.
However there is a problem of being too independent. We stress individual responsibility and self-reliance so much it can affect our growth. Growth is not just about age or circumstances it also is necessary in our spiritual walk. Spiritually speaking, independence and self-reliance are the exact opposite of what God desires from us. He wants us to be completely dependent on him. I was discussing this idea with some friends and fellow leaders at our church and a friend of mine, Susan Lawrence shared with me a great insight that I cannot get out of my mind.
Here is what she said, “Growing up means becoming independent but being even more dependent on Christ.” Wow! If we could capture this idea and live it out it would change how success and accomplishment are defined. Along with the normal separation and growth, we would see a sold out faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It would change how we view jobs and college and marriage and children and money. Total dependence on God is the mark of maturity we should all strive for. Maybe a question we should ask ourselves and our young adults is not only what are you going to do when you grow up…rather we should ask how are your choices going to move you closer to God?
Thanks Susan for an important reminder that growing up is more than age, status and self-reliance. Growing up is deciding to follow Christ with total dependence on him. So I am asking myself and you a question? Have you grown up? May we all start today with a move toward God.
(Darrell Morgan is the pastor of Williamstown Baptist Church. He can be reached at 859-824-4102.)