We’re born, we grow up, and we become adults, right?
Eh, not so fast…
I’ve learned that becoming an adult is a choice. Just because one advances in age, does not mean they actually progress into behaving like an adult. I’m sure you can each list multiple examples of those you know over the age of twenty-one who act like children. Heck, sometimes even a child’s behavior would put them to shame!
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1 Cor 13:11
‘I gave up’… indicating a cognizant choice.
Adulting – To do grown-up things or act responsibly in a manner like an adult. For instance, holding down a steady job, obeying the law, conscientiously paying debts, being an honest, mature, reliable, and trustworthy, citizen, spouse, parent, etc. For Christians, I would also add to live displaying the characteristics and values that God prescribes.
Do people really have the option to choose otherwise? Yes. Yes they do.
Furthermore, I would argue that to age in years and choose not to behave responsibly is also a choice to live a sinful, God dishonoring life.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46
Now I’m not saying you can’t act like a kid from time to time, cut-loose, and have a ball. Of course this is allowed. In fact, it’s absolutely desired and encouraged! But to live day in and day out, shunning reasonable commitments and necessary obligations is a whole different ball game.
Many of you reading this may be thinking, “This is totally ridiculous. I don’t need to read further. I passed ‘Adulting 101’ a long, long time ago.” Guess what? You might be quite right, but perhaps a little fine-tuning is in order? Or maybe you know someone who could use the help? Whatever the case, please keep reading! God has gotten you this far so perhaps there’s an Ah-Ha Moment just waiting to happen?
Not Adulting is Dangerous!
You will likely experience:
- Financial Hardships
- Relationship Issues
- Failure in school
- Difficulty with steady employment
- Inability to care for yourself and your family
- Trouble securing and maintaining appropriate housing and transportation
- Problems with the law
- Lack of respect, integrity, and character
- Falling away from Christ
Among other things…
Declutter Your Way to Adulthood
Declutter Laziness – We’ve heard over and over again to work smart, not hard. Sure, there’s something to be said for multiplying your efforts by using more brain than brawn, but even so, hard work is often necessary to succeed. Sweat equity, elbow grease, and getting yourself in gear not only accomplishes projects and tasks, but builds character and increases competency.
Declutter Entitlement – This has surely been the buzzword of the most recent decade, frequently referring to the current generation of twenty-somethings who expect things to be handed to them. They want to earn in their 20’s what it took their parents three decades to attain. Starter homes are far from starter and they don’t wait for much. Patience is virtually nonexistent. And where has it gotten them? Ugh….we’ve got a generation riddled with spoiled-rotten big brats. Oh there are some amazing shining stars in their midst, and our family certainly has a few we are insanely proud of, but more and more, they seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
Declutter Selfishness – Are you ready for a harsh reality? It’s not always going to matter how you feel or what you want. A stinger of a revelation, huh? But truth you would do well to heed. Yes, there are times when each of us needs to put ourselves first and there should be no guilt in this. In fact, it’s healthy to strike a balance and practice self-care. But to properly adult, it’s important to understand that it’s not all about us. Not today, not tomorrow, and not ever. We are called to live selflessly and give generously in all aspects of life and a self-absorbed, self-consumed mentality and behavior is detrimental to the cause.
Declutter Ignorance – Ignorance is not bliss, it’s destructive. In today’s world of information overload, there is no excuse for not obtaining any help and resources needed. Regrettably, some kids were not equipped through childhood, and now, later in life, they lack the skills to adult successfully that come naturally to others who were properly trained up. As unfortunate as that is, however, it’s not an excuse to waste the rest of their lives blaming their parents. While they may have to work a little harder, help is all around and they can make up great ground in a short period of time with a little effort and perseverance.
Declutter Chaos – Flying by the seat of your pants might be fun on an adventurous day or vacation, but a haphazard approach to life, day in and day out, will quickly get old and unfulfilling.
Each person has their own unique set of challenges, so there may well be more items to declutter, or at minimum, some different ones, but you get the general idea. Declutter the attitudes and behaviors which keep you in bondage and married to a life of irresponsibility, difficulty, disappointment, and failure.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17
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How to Adult Like a Boss
In Declutter Now! we speak to the concept of ‘Declutter and Go’. Decluttering, AKA removal of the unnecessary, unwanted, and harmful, is just the first step of the process. Next you must commit to filling the areas you’ve decluttered with constructive, healthy, and adult-forming habits.
Embrace consistency – Be reliable and dependable
Embrace organization – Being structured doesn’t to equate to being boring. It is, however, necessary for success.
Embrace stability and security – Have a plan. Or two. Preparing back-ups is just plain smart.
Embrace honesty – Be someone who others find trustworthy. Keep your word and commitments. At all costs. Always.
Embrace a positive attitude – Express a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ outlook, with a smile of course.
Embrace self-sacrificing behaviors – Be dedicated to putting the needs of others first. Even when it’s inconvenient or not your first choice.
Embrace a servant’s heart – Be generous with your life and love.
Embrace a spirit of gratefulness and joy – Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t.
Embrace a God-honoring walk and witness – Your life is an interview for God. Be someone He would be proud to hire.
A Word To The Wise
If you’ve struggled with any of the areas to declutter, and perhaps have tendencies towards denial, arrogance, over-confidence, or stubbornness, discuss this with several people you love, trust, and respect. Gathering wise counsel and acting on the solid advice of others, even when you may disagree, is another step toward adulting.
On the flip side, do not be deceived by those making false claims about their concern for you and who share destructive advice.
“See to it that no one takes you captive though hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Col 2:8
Adulting Isn’t Always Easy, But It’s Worth It
Adulting isn’t easy. There are times that even the best of us want to run away and hide, or at the very least, curl up in a ball, cram our faces into a half gallon of ice cream, and escape into a blissful state of calories and sweetness. Guys likely have a different idea of escape! Once in a great while, that’s okay! But after you’ve licked your lips and gotten dressed, life is still waiting for you. Why not make it the best life possible, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
God didn’t promise us a life without challenge, but if we walk in HIS word, HIS truth, and HIS light, we will be richly equipped to rise up and find victory in all that He asks of us. We’ll experience success in school, in our jobs, and with our families. Success that breeds indescribable peace, self-respect, and satisfaction. ‘Adult Like a Boss’ and experience the joy that comes with being the grown-up God desires and designed you to be.