We determined that the culture defines “grown” as the state people are in
- When they have reached a certain age,
- When they can be expected to take care of themselves and
- When they have the privilege of doing what they choose—as long as it does not infringe on anyone else’s pleasure or liberty.
Key belief in the culture: Unless what they’re doing is undermining the quality of someone else’s life, they should not be judged.
From God’s perspective: To be a mature adult is to have the same options as other adults, but limiting yourself to what is acceptable to the Father.
What the Father wills for you is good and will cause you to flourish, cause other people to flourish and cause the world around you to flourish.
When you flourish, you are expanding the influence of the good in you.
Most importantly, Flourishing is a sign of healthy growth.
We identified three principles of healthy growth based on our theme Scripture:
Ephesians 4:11–16 (ESV): 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
- Jesus is God’s definition of adulthood.
- The more you are like Christ, the more of an adult you are.
- In Christ, “grown” is a collective status, not an individual one.
- You’re grown when we’re grown.
- There are three objects of love:
- How do we know that?
- Mark 12:30–31 (ESV): 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
To grow, you must take yourself seriously
What does it mean to love ourselves?
- Loving ourselves means that we do for ourselves what we would do for someone else we loved.
- This is expressed in
- Our Care
- Our Healing
- Our Maturity
To grow, you must be securely planted
Psalm 92:12–15 (ESV): 12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 15 to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
To grow, you must be humble
Proverbs 29:1 (ESV): 1He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2024