Mike’s Musings … Just Because You Can,
Doesn’t Mean You Should!
Many of us remember when the “legal age” changed from 21 to 18. Some felt a bit of “liberation” thinking that somehow that three-year difference changed a teenager from a “young person” to an “adult.” It didn’t and still doesn’t! Some legislators have proposed reducing the “legal age” to sixteen. They reason that if one is old enough and responsible enough to drive an automobile, then they are responsible enough to be considered an “adult.” They are not! Adulthood doesn’t have anything to do with chronological age: it has everything to do with maturity, the growth in knowledge and wisdom by which one recognizes good and evil and acts accordingly (James 4:17).
Solomon’s statement in Proverbs 22:6 uses the word “old” (KJV). While it refers to an “old man,” its meaning is “mature.” The definition of mature is “the slow process of growing to ripeness.” There is no “magic number” of years in this process for the mind. Instead, it requires training (ibid,) including careful and meticulous instruction regarding making decisions: i.e., learning right from wrong! (James 4:17)
Sadly, many adults (chronologically) have yet to mature! “I’m an adult. I can do what I want,” doesn’t mean you should! Sin is sin and has no “age limit” as to when it becomes “all right” to engage in the practice. Just because you can drink, swear, commit sexual immorality, lie, cheat, steal, etc., doesn’t mean you should! Yet, some “can’t wait” for that “magical” number of 16, 18, or 21 when “adulthood” is somehow inherited with the number of years one has lived.
I muse on that reality. Many whose years should indicate they’ve reached maturity, don’t act very mature, at least regarding their allegiance to the righteous life commanded by our Lord Jesus! Consequently, younger lives are adversely influenced as the younger submit, “They do it. Why can’t I?” Telling them, “Because I said so,” doesn’t work! Show them why they can’t sin and win! Show them Romans 6:16 means what it says: viz. sin has deadly consequences!
The real mark of maturity is shown by example in one’s life. The best example is Christ (1 Peter 2:21-24). While we all have “choice,” maturity will always choose His example, not man’s!