Wow! This is getting to be a really long series but then again, we knew that from the beginning, didn’t we? We took the course of the detailed answer rather than the simple one. We’re still digesting the concept of maturity. We’ve said a lot … not to worry, we’ll do a recap soon so you can refresh what you have learned.
Let’s press forward.
One other thing that marks babies, as a matter of fact, one of the major things, is the lack of civility in the manner they go about things. It is so much so that if you enter a home, you can almost certainly guess the age of the child in the house because the younger the child is, the less likely it is for the house to be tidy. Cleaning up one mess after another becomes an all day, energy sapping task for the caregiver who can’t pray hard enough for this baby to grow up and be responsible for some of the clean up.
A baby feels hungry or wants to use the bathroom or simply wants more food, he doesn’t pause to think of how the parents would feel or be looked at should such a request be made public. He doesn’t care if expressing himself in a certain way can be embarrassing in public. A child would empty his bowels at a dinner table and the world would continue apace because, in his mind, he felt like easing himself and he did and that’s all there is to it. “Mommy should come and clean up the poop I left under the dining table while she was having dinner with important guests and should Mommy not move fast enough, I can proceed to practice my finger painting with the smelly poop on our guests nice clean dress.” And if he should succeed in all these things, he would never be able to comprehend the mortified expression on Mommy’s face and why she needs to apologize profusely to her guests. Friend, that is a child; embarrassing, messy, annoying but not unexpected.
But you’re not a child, are you?
If the usual thing with you is to focus on what you feel is to be done to the detriment of decorum or civil manner of approach, then quite likely, you need to grow up some more. The usual excuse line is “I don’t bottle things up inside me, I speak out when I know the truth; I say things how I see them and how I feel.” I’m wondering if we would still be here if God was following this same logic and tactless approach to things. It is my belief, as I’m sure is yours, that things would be a whole lot different and difficult if God did not know how to keep His anger for a while.
Proverbs 12:16 When a stubborn fool is irritated, he shows it immediately, but a sensible person hides the insult.
Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and [it is] his glory to pass over a transgression.
If people cannot count on you to calmly and systematically handle a matter, or you are known for being discourteous in the name of “the truth” … if the usual scenario with you is that a difficult situation gets worsened once you are involved, and you cannot be counted on to behave maturely, then you are not mature. If someone else has to make excuses for your behaviour all the time … if someone else has to explain your actions all the time in order to make them less annoying … if people have to be walking on eggshells around you in order not to offend you because they know it’s going to be next to impossible to secure your pardon or you would only pardon after you have made a public spectacle of their error … if this is you or this is your reputation, you are not yet mature.
Not every reputation is good. Just because you’re the one in charge and no one can shout you down doesn’t make you right every time. The fact that people know this is the way you are doesn’t mean it is okay to keep being that way. Making a mess of things, handling things, situations and people nonchalantly is irresponsible and irresponsibility does not betoken maturity. This is point #5.
We’re not done yet.