If there is one indication that someone is going through puberty is the fact that he/she firmly believes that he/she is infallible. In other words, puberty people think they know it all.
Well, such is the case with my 14-year old son Grant. Beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt, he knows, with positive certainty that he is always right. This is why “discussions” between us could only take two shapes:
1. They could look like play-date banter with very short exchanges of a maximum of three sentences, wrapping up with me rolling my eyes as I sigh a complacent “you are right…”
2. They could look like a battlefield with endless exchanges of countless sentences, wrapping up with both of us walking into our rooms with the respective slamming of doors.
Scenario 1 happens when I am not in the mood for a LONG diatribe in which I inevitably become upset/angry, so I concede.
Scenario 2 happens when I believe it is important that he realizes that he is wrong, and I am right! Towards the end of this scenario he would say something like: “You just don’t love me!” I follow that with a desperate attempt to prove him wrong and explain: “I just want you to understand that I’m disagreeing with you not because I don’t love you or don’t want you to be happy. On the contrary, my goal here is to help you see the truth. And the reason I want you to see and understand and accept the truth is precisely because I DO love you. I love you more than I love myself!” …which, of course, he doesn’t believe, and makes him insist causing a mad spin that eventually ends with the slamming of doors.
This constitutes the first sign of immaturity characterized by puberty: the inability or reluctance to recognize/understand/accept the fact that we are under the control of a higher authority.
Obviously, I’m not just talking about Grant here. As you can see, immaturity runs in the family and in our case, it may or may not have anything to do with puberty.
Fear, rebellion, inflexibility, inability to adapt, insistence on one’s own way, rigidity of thought, resistance to accept the need to let go all stem from rejecting the truth that God is Sovereign. We all want a Savior, but a few of us like a Lord. I believe that’s why Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4 what I see as the first principle to keep in mind when striving to walk toward spiritual maturity:
1. Remember that The Lord is Sovereign and we belong to Him. (v.1) Remember that there is: one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (v. 6)
It’s that simple. If I could just internalize this truth…I would never be afraid again. I would never doubt again. I would never be anxious again. He loves me. I belong to Him. And not only does He love me, but He did go through great lengths to prove it as He became flesh and died for me. The disagreements between my plan and His will are not meant for me to be miserable. They are meant for me to grow up. Just like I could not allow Grant to go through life immersed in the arrogant believe that he is always right and that he knows it all, God cannot let me fall into that same trap either.
It is impossible for us to know all that there is to know and control all that there is to control in this life…if it were possible…what kind of a God He would be?
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11: 33
It is true. My 14-year-old and I have a long way to walk still ‘till we grow up. However, I am determined to intentionally surrender to Him as I pray that He turns our hearts of stone into malleable clay to be molded by His loving hands.