Spiritual Children need outside influence in their Christian walk. Spiritual Young Adults have an inner desire to grow. Do you?
18 Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame [still Spiritual Children], but whoever heeds correction is honored [Young Adults want to learn].
As we continue our study of the stages of spiritual growth, we come to the one where many regular church attenders are, which is the Young Adult. What are the characteristics?
- mission-minded but incomplete in his or her understanding
The Young Adult sounds great, but there is one dangerous weakness: zeal without knowledge, “Enthusiasm [zeal] without knowledge is not good. If you act too quickly, you might make a mistake.” Proverbs 19:2 NCV. I am reminded of a young dog on a long leash. He sees something and runs full out toward it only to be abruptly stopped short by his collar. What does he do? He sees something else the other way and runs full out toward it until he suddenly reaches the end of his leash.
Through the years, I trained my dogs to walk with me on a leash. Here’s how: I got a 10′ leash and a choker chain. We went to the school ground where I could take ten steps in a large square. I would stand still with my hands up against my chest and wait for my dog to look away. Then, I would walk a quick ten steps. It usually caught the dog by surprise, but the choker chain telegraphed the movement, so it didn’t actually hurt her. She would catch up and then stop with me. I turned upon stopping and then waited for her to get distracted. As soon as she began to wander away, I would take off. With one dog, Ginger, it took two turns and then she was right by my side with her eyes on me waiting for me to move. She was a great dog! Very smart. I had another dog, Cassie, who hated the collar and despised the leash. It took two weeks to train her–I practically dragged her around the square! And, she would punish me when we got back to the house. She finally learned enough to walk with me.
Young Adults tend to grab an idea and go. Most of the time, adjustments can be made–along with apologies–and everything is fine. In spiritual matters, judgements can be made that take years to get over. The best advice is good advice. They must find people who have wisdom and experience in important matters. I recommend more than just one person. Consider Proverbs 24:6, “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.” For finances, find someone who has been financially successful and is godly; for accountability, choose someone who does NOT go to your church, knows you inside and out and for a long time, and is godly. For Bible knowledge, look for someone who loves to teach, has plenty of experience teaching the Bible, and is godly. There are also the advisers of the Bible: Moses, David, Job, Paul, John, Peter, etc. And always run everything through the filter of the Holy Spirit. He is our best Adviser.
Being open is the best policy for Young Adults. Having an attitude of learning is one that will take them into the next level, Spiritual Parent, which we will discuss tomorrow. If you are a spiritual young adult, I congratulate you on your spiritual pilgrimage. Let’s keep moving higher up and further in!
Abba, I lift up the Spiritual Adults in Your church. I know that they are usually the leaders of tomorrow. May they stay open to new concepts and ideas, but may they also be like the Bereans, who searched the Scriptures daily to see if what is said is true to You, Your Plan, and Your Word (Acts 17:11). Open their eyes that they may see wonderful things in Your law (word, commands, statutes and decrees; Psalm 119:18). I pray that You would keep me young, as well, Abba. I, too, want to learn from You! Amen.