There’s a call on every Christian to grow and keep growing in wisdom and maturity. In this video I discuss the difference between the two and encourage younger people (and older people!) to commit themselves to these key traits.
What is wisdom & maturity, and is there a difference between the two?
Yes, wisdom defined biblically is really knowledge of God and obedience to God. And so when we think of wisdom we might think of knowledge, we might think of smarts, but really, wisdom is the ability to know the will of God and the willingness to do the will of God. And that begins of course, according to Proverbs with the fear of the Lord. With knowing Him, understanding Him. Maturity is I think growing in wisdom, growing in godliness, and so this commitment that through the passing of time, as time goes on, I will grow in these attributes, I will grow in these traits. I’ll become ultimately more what God wants me to be, I’ll become more like Jesus Christ.
Why is it important for young people to be serious about growing in wisdom & maturity?
Young people should take it very, very seriously because Jesus took it very, very seriously. It’s fascinating as you read the accounts of the life of Jesus, that we see Jesus as a baby, then we see Jesus as a 12-year-old, and then we see Jesus in his thirties. And what was happening between 12 and 30? We’re told that Jesus submitted to his parents and he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. So, here is the son of God, perfect, no sin, had existed from all eternity, and what did he have to do in those years? He had to grow in wisdom. So, Jesus applied his younger years to growing in wisdom. Now, if the son of God had to do that, I dare say, it would probably be a good idea for you, young person, to do that. To commit your younger years to growing in wisdom. What better pursuit could there be, when you’re young, to admit to your inability, to admit to your pride, to admit your insufficiency as a person, and to truly commit to growing in the wisdom you need to properly navigate life.
What are some ways that a young person can grow in wisdom & maturity?
Ultimately, the way we pursue wisdom, the way we pursue maturity is to go to God’s Word and apply that Word. There’s no shortcut to it, there’s no great trick to it. We come into this world unknowledgeable, we come into this world foolish because we’re thinking too humanly. We’ve alienated ourselves from God and from all the wisdom and perfection of God, so what do we need to do? We go to the Word of God, and what a gift God has given us in His Word, which opens our eyes and allows us to see. I like to think of the Bible as being like a pair of glasses and you put on this pair of glasses and now you see the world as it truly is. I’m color blind, I put on those color blindness glasses, I get to see the world as it actually is now with reds and greens that I can’t usually see. The Bible allows you to put on the wisdom of God so now you can see the world as it is. And ultimately then, wisdom is seeing the world as it is and then living like that’s true. Putting aside your own desires, your sinful desires, coming alive to new desires. Putting sin to death, coming alive to righteousness. That’s wisdom, the more you do that, the more you grow in maturity.
What are some practical resources to help a young person grow in wisdom & maturity?
The best resource you’ve got is the Bible and particularly, you’ve got the book of Proverbs, right. You open up the book of Proverbs, you start reading, you see immediately here is an older man, Solomon, writing to younger men specifically, or younger people in general, and he’s telling them here’s what you need to do in life, here’s from my perspective now later in life, here’s how to live with wisdom. And so it’s really written for young people, so they can grow in that way. In the New Testament, we’ve got the book of James, which is also a book of wisdom in its own way. Some people compare the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament to James in the New Testament, read it. And then, of course, read the life of Jesus. See how he had to grow in wisdom and then see that wisdom on display in his life, the perfect human life, lived out here. Commit yourself to the Bible and it’s every part, maybe start with Proverbs, James, the gospels, read the entire Bible, read it again and again. Let that wisdom go down deep, go to church to hear it preached, be around godly people so they can speak it to you. Find good books to read, immerse yourself in the Word of God and the study of God, the knowledge of God, and you will inevitably, invariably grow in wisdom, you’ll grow in maturity.