by Pastor Tim Burt
I spoke with you yesterday about the importance of younger people looking to parents, older mentors, and associates—those they trust—to obtain wisdom for situations they have not yet encountered but surely will. This guidance can help them avoid the pitfalls of inexperience that lie ahead.
For those of you reading this who are younger, remember: you absolutely need wisdom! Proverbs 4:7 (NIV) declares, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”
Wisdom surrounds you. Evaluate the lives and outcomes of those who have lived longer than you beginning with your parents and the individuals God has placed in your life. If they bear good fruit, you can glean valuable lessons from them. Recognize that as they age, they increasingly desire to impart their knowledge and wisdom to you. Keep in mind that experience contributes significantly to wisdom, and their years have provided ample experience.
Young individuals may view their parents as meddlesome, which, at times, they very well may be. Most parents struggle to shift from a parent/child dynamic to a parent/friend relationship. Parents lack the authority to interfere in their adult children’s lives. They can offer insights if they’ve cultivated a friendship that encourages their children to willingly listen. This type of relationship develops by parents encouraging their children to learn to make decisions in their teen years while practicing letting go more and more—even to the point of letting them fail when they think they are right. “I told you so!” should never come put a parent’s mouth. The parent that sincerely and respectfully helps teens make decisions while learning to let go will have their children’s respect in the future. Parents who lack respect will wield limited influence over their adult children.
As a younger person, being naive can be both a strength and a weakness. As you consider the world ahead, a significant aspect of being young is that it’s yours to conquer. Perhaps you strive to adopt an attitude of “I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it!” As a Christian, there are scriptures that offer encouragement for such an attitude, such as Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This scripture is profoundly inspiring, and it should resonate in our hearts daily. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this scripture applies to those pursuing God’s will within the boundaries of ethical and godly living as outlined in His word. It doesn’t extend to pursuing worldly endeavors that are unethical, criminal, or immoral—outside the scope of God’s plan for your life.
People get worn down by life due to the pain and exhaustion of overcoming obstacles. They frequently adopt a survivalist mindset and lack faith in what they face. Thus, the goal for young people is to turn to those who have persevered, maintained strong faith, and possess wisdom untarnished by discouragement. To be candid, living life without mentors is unwise. Embracing mentors, appreciating their wisdom, and learning from them is a brilliant approach and aligns with God’s plan. In the story of Daniel, he mentored three younger men. Daniel’s influence not only led them to success and influence but also preserved their lives.
Young individuals may want to exclude their parents from the thought of mentoring because they are meddlesome at times. Most parents struggle to shift from a parent/child dynamic to a parent/friend relationship. Parents lack the authority to interfere in their adult children’s lives. They can offer insights if they’ve cultivated a friendship that encourages their children to willingly listen. This type of relationship develops by allowing their children to navigate their lives more and more independently as they approach becoming an adult. While parents held authority during their children’s upbringing, that influence diminishes as children become adults. It’s now their responsibility to navigate their world. A parent’s involvement in their adult child’s life depends on their respectfulness when the door is open. Parents who lack respect will wield limited influence over their adult children.
I’ve heard some individuals say, “When I converse with older people, they tend to reminisce and never stop talking.” This perception holds some truth. To overcome this, determine the questions and guidance you seek and be specific in your inquiries. You’ll develop strategies for managing these conversations.
In conclusion, my message across these two posts underscores that the knowledge and wisdom you require are more accessible than you realize. While the internet offers a plethora of information, the wisdom, stories, and insights that stem from experience reside within the older generations around you. Trustworthy individuals surround you and can offer direction, guidance, and assistance, provided you seek God’s guidance, observe, and honor those who bear good fruit—this includes your parents! They possess valuable insights they wish to share.
Proverbs 16:16 (NLT) encapsulates it well: “How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!”
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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