My oldest son turned 18 recently so he is totally mature and ready to face the world completely on his own. Or not.
Any of you who have experienced being 18 know it is an arbitrary number, not a magic one. Yes, my son has learned a lot in his 18 years, but he is also wise enough to know he still needs some help from people who have more life experience than he has. He is wiser about his age than I was as I approached 40. For some odd reason I had always had this idea in my head that by my fortieth birthday I would have life all figured out. I would be an emotionally settled adult with wisdom to share with others and the rest of my life would be kind of a mellow ride. What on earth was I thinking?
Now a few years into my forties, I can smile at my naiveté and realize there is always more growing and learning to do. I am so grateful for this because even looking back over the past couple of years I can see how much I have grown and changed.
This is God’s ultimate plan anyway, for us as followers of Christ. We are to be growing and changing to be more like Jesus every day. I think a lot of people have a similar misconception about becoming followers of Jesus that I did about turning 40. Just as I thought I would suddenly “have it all together,” they think they will magically be changed into “good” people and not struggle with things like temptations or sin ever again. However, the Bible points out over and over that while yes, we are saved and one day going to heaven, we still have a lot of growing, or sanctifying, to go through.
Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means that our thinking can grow more Christ-like. II Peter 3:18 teaches us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. So that would mean we are to study Jesus’ life by reading about it in the Bible and also we are to extend grace to others. And Philippians 1:6 encourages us to have confidence that Jesus will carry on the good work He started in us to completion.
This is all really good news, because I think if we are honest, there are plenty of things we would like to change in ourselves. I just love that Jesus is always with us to help us in the transformation and to lead us one step at a time. He is always there to give us the wisdom we need as we follow Him.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6