Midday blog: More rules or more wisdom?
Dr. Klaus Issler of Talbot Seminary says that the framework for childhood development is rules, while the framework for becoming an adult is wisdom and becoming like Jesus.
I wonder how many of us are tempted to remain in childhood, hanging on to rules that sound like:
I should (fill in the blank)
I should be (fill in the blank)
I should go and (fill in the blank)
The Pastor told me it’s true so I have to (fill in the blank)
My husband said I must (fill in the blank)
My mother/mother-in-law expects me to (fill in the blank) and I must please her or else (fill in the blank)
You might have heard the saying, “Think for yourself, the teacher might be wrong.” It takes courage to counter an authority figure in life. We might feel we don’t know as much, or we don’t possess an earned title, or we may not have the paycheck that says we are worthy of knowing anything. We might even feel it would be a sin to question such a person. Fearing their potential wrath, we just keep quiet and keep following their rules.
How do we grow into adulthood, becoming people of wisdom rather than unthinkingly taking on the rule-of-life of others?
Enter Jesus, known as the Teacher. Reading about Him in the Gospels will keep us busy for a very long time as we discover His rule-of-life and learn His wisdom. Matthew 11:25-30 and Luke 10:21 describe an adult learner as childlike not childish: trusting, openhearted, and believing. Jesus actually thanked God for hiding truth from Jewish society’s “wise and clever,” those who wished to keep the spiritual community enmeshed in childish rules. (He was actually describing the religious leaders of that era.)
The reward of those said who said “no” to keeping rules and “yes” to following the Teacher was the privilege of a warm relationship with Him (“Let Me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart….” Matthew 11:29), release from sin (Galatians 5: 24,25), the promise of correction when needed (Revelation 3:19) and the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23).
May God help us to keep on reaching for adulthood!
Melinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner. To learn more about Melinda, her speaking schedule and her blog please visit her website.