There is a wrong popular opinion which equates maturity to chronological age. But contrary to this erroneous popular believe, the best proof of maturity is not age but putting away childish things. Apostle Paul made this very clear to us in the Bible, he said,
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
I want you to take note of this statement “When I became a man, I put away childish things.” It means I became a matured man because I threw away all my childish behaviors. Throwing away childish things is the prerequisite for maturity. But many grown-ups today are still stuck with all the negative childish attitudes you can think of in the world. Such people are just growing older but not growing matured. They are yet to put away their childish things. We all know that children have to be under the tutelage of adults until they mature. And since maturity has to do more with putting away childish things, you will inevitably continue to be under the control of somebody who is matured irrespective of your chronological age until you throw away all your childish behaviors. Growing up to maturity requires that you throw away all your childish attitudes. Such attitudes include but not limited to self-centeredness, lack of self-discipline and blaming other people or circumstances for failures.
Failure to do away with these negative childish attitudes put serious limitation on our ability to become what God has destined us to become. Childish attitudes always deny people of God’s blessings because they prevent them from doing what they need to do to become the best they can be. Considering the serious negative impact that holding on to childish attitude can have on our lives, let us examine two of them briefly.
Self-centeredness is a terrible childish attitude that limits people’s ability to have great vision because it makes them to narrow and focus their thinking on themselves just like a typical child. As an adults, you are expected to put away this attitude and think of how you can add value to others.
If you really want to enjoy God’s blessing to the fullest, you need to do away with the childish attitude of self-centeredness and have a paradigm shift to others-centeredness. This mental shift will help you to see and provide solution to other people’s problem. Your focus will be to acquire knowledge and understanding to solve problem or make life better for humanity. And you know what? This kind of attitude will eventually crystallize into ideas that will help you solve problems on a large-scale. When you are solving problems for humanity, you are fulfilling the greatest requirement for attracting unprecedented wealth. The principle is very simple, it states that: give and it shall be given unto you. When you solve problems for mankind, the world will surely reward you by giving back to you. When Zig Ziglar said, “you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” this was the principle he was emphasizing. He was saying all your needs and wants, including that fine car or the house you always admire and wish to have can be met if you can help enough other people meet their needs.
Lack of Self-discipline
Self-discipline is the ability to do the right thing whether it is convenient or not. It is doing what is needed to be done whether you feel like it or not and restraining from doing what you shouldn’t do no matter how tempted or pressured you are. It involves being able to endure necessary pain even when you have the freedom to do otherwise. All these are hallmarks of maturity. For instance, if a child is pressed he will wet his pants if you don’t act fast when he tells you but a matured adult in a similar situation will hold himself until he gets to the right place.
Unfortunately, most grown-ups lack this important quality of self-control. They can wet their pants anytime and anywhere they are pressed irrespective of whether it is the right time or the right place or not. They are yet to put away the childish attitude of lack of self-discipline. Consequently, they still behave just exactly like children; they are physically adult but children in maturity. And we all know that children have to be under the control of a matured adult to guide and direct them to do the right thing. So, if you are still stuck with the childish attitude of lack of self-discipline, your life will be controlled by a matured adult notwithstanding how old you are.
The consequence of being under the control of somebody is that you will not be able to maximize your potential. For instance my little son really wants to drive a car but I will not allow him because he is not matured enough to do so. In a similar manner, a lot of your dreams will never be fulfilled unless you throw away all your childish things and become a matured woman or man. Therefore, if you really don’t want to live average or mediocre life, you need to identify all the childish things you are still holding on to and make serious and conscious effort to do away with them. When you do this you will surely become a better person with capacity to realize each and every one of your dreams.
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