Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Midolescence"

Judges 12.2-3 NIV

“Jephthah answered, ‘I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn't save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn't help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave me the victory over them.’”

I’ve known some 50 year old adolescents. I call them midolescents, people who never quite grew up. They still depend on others for their safety, happiness, and success. When they don’t get what they need, adult-children blame others. Aging parents are favorite targets of 40, 50, or 60 year old children. Presumably, if their parents had been more (or less) attentive or indulgent; stricter or more permissive; kinder, nicer, more understanding and qualified, the child, who is now an adult, would be a well-rounded human being. The adult-child’s stressors, conflicts, traumas, disappointments, and failures are mom and dad’s fault (or anyone besides his or her own). Character flaws are not an occasion for the hard work of personal growth, but rather an opportunity to point fingers. 

Jephthah was the 10th judge in Israel (according to the biblical record if you count Barak and Abimelech, but not Eli). He ruled Israel for 6 years about 1,100 years before the birth of Christ. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute. His father’s wife and other sons kicked Jephthah out of the home despising him as “the son of another woman” (Judges 11.2). Jephthah hung out with the wrong crowd, “worthless fellows” (Judges 11.3) and, having good reason to blame his family of origin, could have remained a child for the remainder of his life. Instead, this man of God (as imperfect as he was) took hold of one important truth… 

No one was going to help Jephthah. 
If he was to better himself, he better do it himself.

This attitude gave Jephthah fierce confidence to lead Israel in a successful rebellion against the Ammonites and their 18 year reign of tyranny. His unhappy childhood became an asset. It taught Jephthah self-reliance, a character trait that catapulted him to the top rung of Israel’s political ladder.

Jephthah asked for help in his war against the Ammonites, but when help was not forthcoming, he refused to whine or blame others. The judge of Israel simply took charge: “When I saw that you wouldn’t help, I took my life in my hands… and the Lord gave me the victory.”

It may be time to grow up. You don’t need to depend on anyone else for your safety, happiness, or success. Stop pointing the finger of blame and, taking full control of your life, affirm with Jephthah:

“I took my life in my hands... and the Lord gave me the victory.”

We all need a loving community of faith, but that starts with Jesus and you. He is more than enough. Jesus is the only savior you need.
__________________

Check out over 1,000 pictures at "Idioms by Kids" (http://www.idiomsbykids.com/). This is where I found the I found the clever "Grow Up" image.

3 comments:

One Sided said...

Now if you could just deal with the denial. Because from where I am sitting; even when you serve it stright up, most folks think you must be talking about someone else.

thank you

michael.rossman said...

This is a very good reminder about being responsible to ourselves while depending on the Lord for our victory.
thank you,

Michael

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks Michael for your comment.