"However, while the point is true, you mustn’t forget that there’s a reason why they call grown-folks business, “GROWN-FOLKS BUSINESS.” It’s because this is the business that must be addressed and discussed by adults."
I may be alone with this one and if so, I’ll take it; however, I seriously doubt that I am…
Full disclosure: I am 38 years old.
That means I’ve been on the Earth longer than the earliest iPhone and even (brace yourself millennials) longer than the whole internet. I am 2 years shy of 40. That’s right, 40!! Right now, there are people that I really don’t think should call me “sir,” that really do call me “sir” (to my face)! And please don’t get me started on this grey hair.
Make no mistake about it, I am a full-grown adult. I have a wife, children, a mortgage, several years of submitted tax returns, and I even have paid off student loans. I am in no ways a child, or even remotely close to being a child. If I walked in a store today to purchase a beer or a pack of cigarettes, I don’t think anyone would request my ID; and if they did, it would definitely be out of honoring the law or their assigned formality.
The point: I’m grown. Right?
So, why (knowing all of these grown facts about myself) do I sometimes struggle with owning my adulthood? I mean there are some instances and forums where I (being an adult) should be moving with a bit more authority, assertion, and/or audacity. However, if I’m honest, in some of these instances, I find that I’m quite the opposite.
I’m saying sir and ma’am, of which, I’ll never quit. However, I’m also playing the background. I’m hesitant, I’m cautious, and even reserved. Yes, in 100% of these noted instances the audience before me is older than me. And yes, I’m a massive advocate of being respectful and honorable towards our elders. However, God is moving me these days to know that being humble should never rob you of your agency. And if it does, that pseudo-humility may unfortunately be timidity.
"So, why (knowing all of these grown facts about myself) do I sometimes struggle with owning my adulthood?"
In other words, you can be an adult, unpretentious, and assertive all at the same time. God gave you a mouth, a voice, and a perspective that is all your own. In the presence of your elders, your voice can be the difference maker.
Consider the words of Caleb in Numbers 13:30. There the Bible says, “But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”(ESV). Consider the magnitude of this.
In the absolute opposite of his elders, (those who were denied access to the Promised Land) he spoke a word that was courageous, necessary, and God ordered. A word that opposed the words of his seniors.
Imagine, if Caleb would have allowed his age to impact his address. What if he felt, on the basis of his youth that he should remain hushed? History for the people of God would have certainly read very different.
"God gave you a mouth, a voice, and a perspective that is all your own."
I know what some of you are thinking, and I agree. There is indeed profound wisdom in remaining silent and listening to the aged (cf. 1 Peter 5:5). However, while the point is true, you mustn’t forget that there’s a reason why they call grown-folks business, “GROWN-FOLKS BUSINESS.” It’s because this is the business that must be addressed and discussed by adults. And… I’ve got news for you - contrary to even your personal thought, you are one! You, young man/woman are an adult.
I, like many of you, am in the early to mid-stages of my adulthood; however, none of that changes the fact. I am still an adult. Do I always feel like it? Obviously not. Do I know it all? Absolutely not. Do I have all the answers? Certainly not. However, I also ask, do I have a God-guided perspective that could help people of all ages? I most certainly do.
So, knowing all of this, I encourage myself (and anyone who can relate) to receive this word: “(7) But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. (8) Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8 / BSB).
Be humble, but at the same time BE. Be all that God has called you to be. Be bold, be vocal, be respectful, be you, be a voice. Be Caleb.
Your thoughts? If you were adding to this post, what would you include? What do you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.
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Kevin D. Jones, Sr.
Kevin D. Jones, Sr.