Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write a Coming OF AGE short story (11/20/14)
TITLE: Spiritual Maturity
By Edmond Ng
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- When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11 NAS)
At the age of 17, Edison was unsure what the years ahead would be like for him. He had completed junior high school but was unable to further his studies because of his grades. Two options were opened to him—to pursue vocational studies or to get a job.
Edison tried first to get into a vocational school, but his application was rejected. Left without a choice, he started work in a fast food chain as a crew, but after a while he gave it up. He then took up a junior clerical job with an accounting firm but knew in his heart that was not it.
A year later, Edison joined the navy and was assigned a logistics clerk position after a pre-enlistment checkup. While in the navy, he learned many things and grew in maturity. After two years, he was ready to enter the concrete jungle of the world at large, and with God by his side, he had nothing to fear.
Not many of those coming of age think like Edison anymore. These days, teens face greater challenges making decisions that could be life threatening, and they are not just about smoking or sex, but include crack and deadly drugs, violence, depression, drinking, among other vices. Problems like lying, cheating, learning disabilities, emotional trauma, and the like are also just as disconcerting. Many a time, we may not be able to understand what is going on in the minds of teenagers, but we must not lose heart guiding them.
The only one thing that differentiates between those in trouble and those that are not is the values the teenagers have learned and adopted from the adults. As Christian parents or guardians, therefore, we need to set good examples for our young, so as to teach them godly values from the word of God. We ought also to take time to listen to them, show them love and respect for themselves and for everyone else, and lead them to the right path, which direction they must eventually choose for themselves.
Just as there is need for teenagers to grow up in maturity, parents and guardians ought also to grow in spiritual maturity to better guide children. How we guide them along the way is of utmost importance. Let us pave our ways and our children’s ways to grow and progress steadily (1 Corinthians 3:2; 13:11-12; Hebrews 5:12, 14; 6:1).
Dear Lord, help us understand our children, so we might guide them in the path of Your righteousness. Teach us in the understanding of Your word that we might grow in spiritual maturity to better guide them by examples, and instill in them Your godly values. In our busyness, remind us to take time to listen to them and to show them love and respect for themselves and others. Guide and lead them to the right path in their making of decisions that they might grow and progress steadily in You.
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