The young man put the blame for his anger and life’s hardships squarely on the shoulders of his dad. Not comprehending his own immaturity, he pressed on to overcome obstacles he faced on life’s journey. Anger toward, and judgment of others manifested into bad character traits. Those traits impeded his ability to mature and understand how God was working through circumstances to conform him “to the image of His Son.” (Romans 8:29).
Similarly, a fringe of American citizens put the blame for their anger and life’s hardships on the shoulders of those that have gone before them. In their anger, statues are torn down, protests turn violent and flags are burned. Such anger impedes the ability to mature and understand how God has been, and continues to be working through the nation’s history “to form a more perfect Union” (The Constitution of the United States).
…so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. – Ephesians 4:12b-15. Paul calls the Church to maturity in order to discern well through “every wind of teaching” and “the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” The Church is to strive for unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Tenants for unity in faith include understanding: Jesus was the Word become flesh; He was born of the virgin Mary; He lived a sinless life; He was blessed by His Father; He obeyed His Father to the point of death, even death on a cross; He died, putting death to sin; He rose from the dead; He appeared to His disciples and the many; and, He ascended to His Father. Through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension, the Christian acknowledges and accepts Jesus as Savior from sin and death, is baptized with the Holy Spirit and is born again to serve Him as Lord. This is maturity by His grace and for His glory.
The young man reconciled with his dad and began to see how the Lord was working on him and through him. He matured from blaming and overcoming, to accepting Jesus the Christ as Savior and serving Him as Lord. Similarly, the vast majority of Americans have reconciled with the fact that our founding fathers were imperfect men that founded an imperfect nation. We have matured as citizens with a profound respect for their commitment as documented in the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” These men reflected a steadfast maturity in relationship with God, and in respect for country. I pray each generation would reflect such maturity.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for Your patience with me. I confess that in my angry, judgmental nature, I have not honored You or my generation. Forgive me. I want to tune-in to You and mature in relationship with You. Grant me clarity and discipline on life’s journey to live under Your word. Give me strength to reflect a steadfast maturity in relationship with You, and in respect for country. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father reflects maturity in relationship with Christ, and in respect for country.