Growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s family vacations were events. We did not fly, we drove and drove. We would pile into the 1967 Chevrolet Biscayne, the 1968 Dodge Polara, or later the 1981 Buick Century and head to the Smokey Mountains, to Orlando, or to southern Ohio. Did I mention hours in the car? On a few occasions my brothers and I would play backseat games, like “Don’t Cross This Line.” You know this game, a participant draws an imaginary line on the hot vinyl seat and dares the other sibling(s) to cross it. Then the accusations begin to follow. “He is on my side!” “He is touching my seat!” “He is touching me.” The obligatory follow-up are statements of defense, “I did not!” “He is taking up too much room!”
A good game would bring comments from the front seat. Comments similar to this, “Do I need to pull this car over?!” Or “We can turn around and go home.”
This may be a faulty recollection. This may be a nightmare I once had. But I have an image of Dad hitting the brakes, pulling over, and saying, “Grow-up!” I think I tried at that moment to get a little taller, I know I likely sat up straighter and began taking up a little less space . . .
One job parents have is to help their children mature. I heard a recently heard a lecture on adolescence and maturity. The speaker (Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson) made reference to a book by Tim Elmore entitled “Artificial Maturity.” In this book there is a list of Marks of Maturity. As I consider these, they are not just about adolescents, but about growing in Christ as well. Take a look at these seven characteristics of maturity and think about how you and I can mature as Christians.
- The mature are able to keep long term commitments.
- Mature individuals are unshaken by compliments or criticism.
- A mature person possesses a spirit of humility.
- His or her desires are based on character not feelings.
- They express gratitude consistently.
- They prioritize others over selves.
- They seek wisdom before acting.
Paul says, “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.” 1 Corinthians 14:20.
It is time to grow up in Christ.