by Pastor Tim Burt
I talked with you yesterday about the importance of younger people to look to parents, older mentors and associates—those they trust to obtain wisdom for things they have not yet walked through but surely will—to save them from pitfalls of inexperience that lie ahead.
Being naive can be a strength and a weakness at the same time. A great part of being young as you look at the world ahead, is that it’s of yours to conquer. Maybe you work to having an attitude of I can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it! And as a Christian, there are scriptures that are quoted and put out there to encourage that attitude such as Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This scripture is encouraging beyond words and we should hold it within our hearts every day. But it’s also important to know that this scripture is true for those pursing God’s will and within the boundaries of godly living laid out in His word. It doesn’t apply to pursuing worldly pursuits that are unethical, criminal, or immoral—outside of God’s boundaries and His plan for your life.
Being younger and naive can be a strength for the right reasons of being energetic, not knowing all the obstacles you’ll face in life, and having a pure and innocent confidence and faith in God. People who’ve been beaten down by life and whose faith has become weak, stop trying to accomplish anything great because pressing through obstacles has been painful and wearing. They often live their life in survival mode. So the goal for younger people is to look to those who have pressed through, who have kept their faith strong, and who have wisdom without discouragement to share with those who have not walked through what yet lies ahead. If I may be bluntly honest, to live life without mentors is stupid. To have and appreciate mentors and learn from their wisdom is brilliant and part of the plan of God. If you read the story of Daniel, you’ll see that he was a mentor to three younger men. Daniels influence upon their life not only caused them to be greatly successful and influential, but also saved their lives!
Younger people sometimes think of their parents as interfering—and
sometimes they are! But more than not, parents haven’t learned how to transition from the parent/child relationship to the parent/friend relationship with their child. Parents have no right to meddle in their adult children’s lives. They can speak into their adult children’s lives if they’ve built the kind of friendship with their children that makes their children want to keep listening to their parents. But this kind of relationship is built by letting go and letting your children figure out their life. Where parents rightfully had control over their children as they were growing up, they lost as they become adults. It’s now their world to figure out. Whether a parent has any say in their adult children’s lives or not depends on how respectful they are to their children when that door is open. Parents that do not tread respectfully will have very little influence upon their adult children.
To those of you reading that are younger, I would say this: You absolutely want wisdom! Proverbs 4:7 (NIV) says, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Wisdom is all around you. Measure the lives and fruit of those who have lived longer than you beginning with your parents, and those God has placed in your life. If they have great fruit, then you can know that there are things you can learn from them. And you can know that the older they get, the more they desire to impart their knowledge and wisdom to you. Remember that experience is a great part of wisdom and their years past have provided that for them.
I’ve heard some say, If I talk with older people they begin to reminisce and never stop talking. That may be partially true. The way to conquer that is to know what questions and wisdom you desire to ask and be specific in your questions. You’ll figure out how to navigate that. Unless you are surrounded by aimless people and you know if you are, then know there are people around you with a wealth of wisdom. Ask God to lead you to them and know they desire to share their wisdom with you! They want to download it to you before they leave this earth! You don’t want them to talk forever and they may or may not want you to capitalize their time. You can go with a plan and adapt as you go.
People are always looking for answers. What they don’t know is that they are surrounded by people with answers. When we cry out to God for answers He does provide them. Sometimes and most often He will speak to you through His Word. That is why Bible reading is so critical to a Christian’s life. Sometimes He will speak through His Word but that might come through the mouth of a Pastor or spiritual leader. Sometimes it will come when you are praying—God will speak to you through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. You have to be listening and paying attention. Other times God will speak to you through people in your life. Because you are searching for knowledge and wisdom and praying to the Lord about it, He will put the right people in your path. And when He does speak to you through one of these ways, are you going to listen? Are you going to take it in? That was the biggest problem God had to deal with regarding His people. This is why Jesus said repeatedly, Luke 8:8 (NLT) “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Hearing and learning from what you hear is a choice. You have to choose to open your heart and listen to those that bear good fruit, and then apply it in your own. Hearing God’s wisdom is to protect you from what you should avoid and pitfalls that lie ahead, and to help you learn those things that will help usher blessing to your life. Proverbs 20:12 (NLT) says, “Ears to hear and eyes to see—both are gifts from the Lord.” God wants you to see life through His eyes and hear His ways!
So, my point through these two posts is that the knowledge and wisdom you need is more readily available that you know. Although the Internet provides more information that anyone could have ever thought possible, the knowledge and wisdom and the stories and feelings that come from experience are within older generations around you. There are those around you that you can trust that will be used of God to give you direction, guidance, and the help you need. It begins by seeking God and praying, and then observing and honoring those who bear fruit around you—including your parents! They have things that are valuable that they desire to download to you!
Proverbs 16:16 (NLT) “How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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