“yesterday i was clever so i wanted to change the world. today i am wise s i am changing myself.” This poster has had me thinking for the last few days. It sounds poignant, is a good juxtaposition of young and old, but there is something looming about it. I think that this is an accurate statement that shows up in peoples life. There is a youthful bliss of knowledge that wants to conquer the world and the carefree heart to take it on. As people age, grow in maturity and life they see that the greatest impact they can have starts with managing yourself well. When I was considering being involved in politics in college a mentor encouraged me to go home and live the government that I believe in, and the opportunity will follow if that’s what the Lord has for you. For me that looked like finishing school, working, getting married having kids and being involved in our local church and community.
While I could let the above paragraph stand on it’s own, it is important to take a quick look at a few verses in the bible about maturity, wisdom, and growth. There are more verses, but these touch on all the points that are on my heart right now. Take a minute to read:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” Proverbs 9:10
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillippians 2:6
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
“For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies.” 2 Thessalonians 3:11
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
What a picture these verses paint. How encouraging to see that none of these verses attribute wisdom, maturity youthfulness, or work to an age, but a condition of the heart in comparison to the Lord. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. I love the verse, when I became a man I gave up my childish ways. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit Helps us in our weakness and that we are saved by grace.
The poster above is really self centered. The author is self-proclaimed to be wise and thinks he is able to change himself, knows what wisdom is, and apparently the only person who can teach it to himself. How can an imperfect person all of a sudden decide to suddenly become wise and teach it to himself? He has no context for wisdom, because that is not who he is. Wisdom is one of the only topics in the world that you can’t get a degree in, study or even quantify. It is something that is lived, with humble realization and definitely not self-proclaimed.
We can definitely change our actions, but the Lord is the only one who can change our heart. What I love in scripture is that God is the author, giver, helper, perfecter and declarer of wisdom. The other verses begin to spell out what immaturity vs. maturity looks like. They flee youthful lust and passion, are busy being productive at work (not busy bodies) and talks about what they are to be pursing, love, peace and righteousness.
What I love the most is that as the LORD sanctifies His people, changes their hearts and gives them a Helper of the Holy Spirit, it will change the world. Not of our doing but of His. Praise the Lord.