Adolescent Seniors

Adolescence (lat adolescere, (to grow) is a transitional stage of physical and mental human development that occurs between childhood and adulthood. This transition involves biological (i.e. pubertal), social, and psychological changes, though the biological or physiological ones are the easiest to measure objectively. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

This is the classical description of the maturing process from childhood to adult. However the theme of this blog is those adults in their 50’s and 60’s who still exhibit preadolescent behavior. While they may have physically and chronologically passed through the stages of maturation they have psychologically and emotionally remained children. They think that when they graduated from high school or college that learning stopped and fail to realize that learning is a part of maturing and growing and should be welcomed with open arms. Many of these elderly preteens have not read a book since they left their last institute of learning. They have not learned to accept responsibility for their achievements or failures. They are overjoyed to be praised on incidental pursuits, new clothing, new jewelry, new cars, etc. And they often vicariously enjoy the wealth of others and are envious and jealous of what they perceive to be success. They don’t know how to accept honest evaluations of their successes and failures. They perceive honest evaluations of their efforts to be attacks even if the criticism is positive and designed to improve them professionally and socially.

Much of this behavior stems from a poor self-image and the inability to accept oneself as one is. They have not heard or have forgotten the proverb told by a wise pastor with whom I once worked. He said, “where you are there you are.” These immature adults think that if they change their location life will be better. They may move thousands of miles across the country in an attempt for a better condition, But wherever they are there they are. As these elderly preteens move from place to place to solve their problems they find that the new location only adds stress to their immaturity. In places they think to be places of safety i.e. with people they think will accept them unconditionally, they find that those they think will accept them unconditionally are the ones that expose their immaturity even more, even if the exposure is unintentional. and even if those they move to be around are their own children. It is a wise child that helps their parents to stay current with technology, but is is a sad child that has to train his aging parents to be adults.

In the time of life when the older should be assisting and guiding children to adult responsibilities it is shameful that the children of preadolescent adults have to put up with the temper tantrums of 50 and 60 year old moms and dads who often act out as the spoiled brats they are.

24 thoughts on “Adolescent Seniors

  1. Gary, this is a very convicting message for many of us ‘older Christians…meaning those not even so much chronologically aged but those of us who have been ‘in the way’ for years. Paul says in 1 Cor. 3, that although we have the mind of Christ…”BRETHREN, I (Paul) could not talk to you as to spiritual adults but as to nonspiritual adults of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates; as to mere infants in the new life in Christ, unable to comumunicate properly, yet. I fed you with milk, not solid food because you are still not emotionally strong enough to be ready for real spiritual meat. For you are still unspirituall having the nature of the flesh, under the control of ordinary impulses and emotions. For as long as there are enyving, jealousy, wrangling, accusations real or imagined, are you not acting like mere unregenerated man? V. 2:6…”yet, when we are among the full grown spiritually maturing Christians who are ripe in understanding we do impart a higher wisdom (and can impart that wisdom because the spiritually mature are always ready to receive that higer wisdom…not the wisdom of this present, material, glossy, broadway-light-studded way of life, which at this very moment is being brought to nothing,( as we see our loved ones passing) but rather we desire to set forth the wisdom of GOD to bring honor and glory to His Name and Kingdom by acting to the world as ambassadors of Christian unity and wisdom, understanding, counsel and the mind of Christ.
    It would do us all well, (and the wise and maturing Christian will take this counsel to heart to help change one’s immature ways), to examine ourselves for the fruit that results from our childish responses to the tests and trials we encounter every day. As Sara says, “FACE IT, ADMIT IT, CHANGE IT”! We have been given every spiritual gift for maturity and godliness, and honesty. We just have to use them.

  2. A Call to Spiritual Growth by the writer of Hebrews. I am always amazed at this writers knowledge. I would also like to offer my limited opinion on this subject. It seems we have a difficult time finding adults to model our lives after. The Apostle Paul was not intimidated to say, ‘model me as I model Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

    The Apostle Paul knew the power of leaving adolescence for adulthood.

    Hebrews 5″ 11-13 NLT…” There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12) You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13) For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14) Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

  3. …” who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” from Hebrews quote above…I think as Gary has said in his blog, we get a limited amount of education and try and live out our lives. Gary’s quote “… think that when they graduated from high school or college that learning stopped and fail to realize that learning is a part of maturing and growing and should be welcomed with open arms. Many of these elderly preteens have not read a book since they left their last institute of learning. They have not learned to accept responsibility for their achievements or failures.”

    Again, it is through TRAINING…Who likes training? Who likes steady workouts?

    Paul gives us a workout book, I Corth . 4:11 NLT..”Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.” But you just imitate me like I imitate Christ.”

  4. Those of us who writhe under rebuke, cringe under correction, addled by admonition are missing the God-given opportunity for spiritual growth. “Whom I (Jesus) love, He says in Revelation, I correct as sons”
    One of the missions of this ministry of CCI/ROSSOL/ is to grow up the saints to do the work of the Kingdom. I can truly say, when each of us came here, it was a commission from the Lord to bring us out of any lingering darkness in our lives, to open the eyes of the ‘blind’, increase moral fiber and character, be delivered from binding hindrances and fit us out for Kingdom Work. We are here because we have been “sent”. As Gary quotes, “Where we are, there we are” for a purpose. We may not like reproof or reprimand ( I don’t particularly) but if we will not have the fortitude to receive it and change our behavior, our minds and our attitudes, then we have missed the opportunity to reach the spiritual goals the Lord has for each of us. We will be pew warmers and bench buddies. And He will find someone else to work the works. When we work for the Lord He first corrects, chastises, counsels and then restores so that we will be fit for the work. If we are full of ourselves, always looking out for #1 then
    we are worldly and our efforts, though we think we labor extensively, are wood, hay, stubble and puny at best.

  5. Philippians 4:11 ” … for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have (or wherever I am.”

    I have always thought Paul to be just a tad eccentric. Hey, you too, Gary. Maybe AARP would do well to use your article.

  6. As I read this blog, a scripture came to mind and I had to find it. It’s in 1 Corinthians 13, starting with verse 11. Read with me: “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.(12) Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” Read with me the footnotes for verses 10-12. “When Paul wrote of ‘full understanding,’ he was referring to when we must see Christ face to face. God gives believers spiritual gifts for their lives on earth in order to build up, serve, and strengthen fellow Christians. The spiritual gifts are for the church. In eternity, we will be made perfect and complete and will be in the very presence of God. We will no longer need the spiritual gifts, so they will come to an end. Then, we will have a full understanding and appreciation for one another as unique expressions of God’s infinite creativity. We will use our differences as a reason to praise God! Based on that perspective, let us treat each other with the same love and unity that we will one day share.”

  7. There are a lot of good points in Gary’s blog for us to reflect on.
    I think Sara hit the nail on the head when she brought up the word TRAINING and said ‘Who likes training?’. One way the dictionary defines ‘learn’ is: to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.
    Real learning and training is hard work…look at olympian athletes, marathon runners, and others who strive to master a skill or profession. Days, months, years of steady work with ups and downs.
    I trained horses for many years and I often think of myself as a horse in forever training. In fact, years a ago a visiting prophet came to our church and prophetically spoke to me that God was going to ‘break this horse’ and the prophet spoke about all the training that I would go through.
    Training is a good thing though it doesn’t feel very good much of the time. Those horses I drug out of the barn every day in heat, cold, rain, snow to make them go through their paces (through pressure on the reins or from my legs or sometimes spurs and whips), around and around in a circle until they learned the commands and improved their performance for show ring, hunt field, etc. not always seemed to be enjoying it. But most grew up (reminding me of what Needles said above),learned well and as they did the pressure eased and they responded to the slightest touch or voice command. However, if I laid off the training for a few weeks or longer, a refresher course was needed…back to the drills…and so on for the life of the ever-learning horse.
    “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13″Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:11-12

  8. Again, the scripture Needles used came to me in the car on the way home from work and I thought to use it on the blog when I got home but the Holy Spirit had already given it to Tammy, too, and that is another confirmation! thanks, Needles!

  9. Gary wrote, “not learned to accept responsibility for their achievements or failures.” I think this is a key to many things. Maybe as children the lessons are not clear on how to be responsible for one’s behavior and actions.

    In sports have we taught the value of a game in winning and losing? Do we teach healthy competition in all activities of life? If one thinks they are a failure because they did not win the game, or the beauty contest, or the spelling bee, etc. etc. etc., then we have failed to teach effectively leaving lonely bruised adults. Or, maybe we as adults were not taught so we have not the ability to teach others. Seems to me it is a cycle of ignorance.

    We, many times have acted in ignorance of basic procedures out of fear.I believe fear from knowing we don’t know and afraid of honesty to admit we don’t. Just think, ” when we don’t know we have a chance to learn.” Well, this is what my Mother taught me. Also, she made it very clear that God’s Word said we are to learn and come to an understanding. ie don’t keep learning the same lessons over and over again. Have you heard people said, “I guess I will never learn?” Gee, what does that mean, why not?

  10. Sara asked:”Have you heard people said, “I guess I will never learn?” Gee, what does that mean, why not?”
    Sounds to me that they like the ‘cycle of ignorance’ you spoke of and have made up their minds, for whatever reason, to refuse to learn. They are stubborn as a mule. They are sinply saying I refuse to learn. I refuse the instruction, correction. I refuse to take actions or steps to correct my failures. I would rather focus on me, poor me…and stay a dumb ass.

    II Tim 3:1-9 tells us there are those who are ‘ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ and gives us some reasons why.

    “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

  11. Some people play the “blame game”. For their failures or mishaps they accuse & say that it’s someone else’s fault as to why they reacted the way they did. And what’s even more subtle and I have seen this often…instead of confronting the real issue, they toss up a fabrication or a small issue and/or throw the blame on someone OTHER than the one with whom they have the true problem. This is often done out of fear of reprimand from one in authority. I have seen this a lot in elementary school issues among the children (but they ARE children and still learning) but also in churches where, as Debi quotes, ” ever learning but never coming to knowledge of the truth.”

  12. Interesting thoughts on the ‘name game’. Seemly, many ‘adults’ blame their parents, teachers, or environment or whatever for any and everything negative. If a parent or other did 90% of parenting right it would seem the 10% would be the stronger force. (of course if this was abuse or the like it should be) I am not speaking on this issue here.

    As with the young children in elementary schools spoken of by MG, we teach them to embrace their faults and confess them. One of our most distinguished teachers, James, also taught all of God’s children a powerful lesson found in our text book, James 5:16 Ampl. “Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. ”
    And, we even have the answer when someone points out things we were not even aware of seemly. Secret faults so we thought…Psalm 19:12 “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults?”, the Psalmist prayed and we can also..

    As Gary’s pastor taught, “where you are there you are.” Gary says, “They don’t know how to accept honest evaluations of their successes and failures. They perceive honest evaluations of their efforts to be attacks even if the criticism is positive and designed to improve them professionally and socially.” I hope in all areas of my life where this might apply that I exchange this noose for freedom to be all that God said I could be.

  13. Thanks Sara for the powerful lesson from James.
    Seems he has paved the road to freedom for us.

    I was reading in John 8:34 this am that Jesus told us ‘whovever commits sin is a slave of sin.’ That’s not freedom. As I understand it in vs 32 of James 8, He told us how to deal with the ‘blame game’ MG wrote about and how to avoid the ‘noose’ Sara spoke of. “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
    To me that gives some clear steps: come clean; face and embrace the truth about your yourself; don’t blameshift, make excuses or live in denial. Then we can have freedom’s hope.

  14. “They are overjoyed to be praised or incidental pursuits new clothing, new jewelry, new cars, ect.” These ADOLESCENT SENIORS better hurry up and grow up. They better stop worshiping wealth, other people, themselves (ego), jewelry, and new cars and worship God. If they don’t redirect their focus, they will develop a mind filled with darkness and confusion. God is light and truth. God is the one who can bring light and clarity to a dark and confused mind.
    Romans 1:18-26 and 28 -18) “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19) They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. SO THEY HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR NOT KNOWING GOD. 21) Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. AS A RESULT, THEIR MINDS BECAME DARK AND CONFUSED. 22) Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23) And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and reptiles. 24) So GOD ABANDONED THEM to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s body. 25) They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26) That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.” 28) “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.”
    Romans tell us that we better grow up. We don’t have time to be an ASOLESCENT SENIOR. We must stay focus on God and worship God. We must be wise with the truth, which is God’s Word. We must protect our minds from darkness and confusion. WE MUST GROW UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES. God has been patient long enough. Time is running out. It’s time to Grow in God and not ourselves and the world. It’s time to get serious about God. Now lets wipe the milk off our mouth and get busy growing up in God, before it’s too late….

  15. Chickenfarmer, it would be funny if it were not so serious. Way too often we do awaken to the truth that we have egg on our face. Oh, no, let’s follow your advice, wipe the milk off your mouth and get busy growing up just might save us from egg on our face.

    “God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness”, this announcement of God should put a fear in us to get up and grow up.

  16. I think the biggest lesson I am learning in this Christian maturing process is the improtance of being submissive, to be humble, to humble oneself in the face of spiritual authority. I know I am not always obedient but I believe I am growing in that gift of humility. And when I forget, miss the mark, do not discern the situation where humility and obedience is in order , I pay for it in broken communication and hurt relationships with brothers & sisters in Christ and missed opportunities to bring glory to GOD.
    I tell my students in class that one of the biggest factors in your maturing and being “grown up”… a quality which they desperately desire…is learning when to STOP and learning when to be obedient. Obedience is submission to spiritual authority in Christ Jesus, forsaking our own agendas, putting the work of the kingdom before our own pleasure seeking. That doesn’t
    mean we can’t have fun and leisure time. But if it becomes a priority over the work of the ministry, whatever GOD has called us to do, then our own plans take precedence over what God has planned for us in His providential flow. We are like spoiled brats that want our way and we pout if we don’t get it, or withdraw, or whine, or complain….and the beat goes on.
    I wrote a musical comedy called FROGS which I use as a vehicle to teach kindness, manners, appropriate behavior and a commentary on characters in my own personal life. The children love it even though the script uses chivalric speech. In one scene Pricess Persnickety, granddaugter of the Queen Mother, GRANDMA QUEENIE, sings this song in impudence to her parents and GRANDMA QUEENIE
    I want my way and I want it right now
    Do what I say and I’ll tell you how
    I like to be cool in the way that I act
    In the realm I am known as the brat
    (stage echo) THAT’S A FACT!!
    I don’t always do all the things that I ought
    I don’t always do all the things I’ve been taught
    I like to be boss in the way that I act
    In the realm I am known as the brat, THAT’S A FACT!!
    In the realm I am known as the brat, THAT’S A FACT!!

    I think there are a lot of BRATS in the realm of GOD’s Kingdom. GOD will have to use behavior modification on them
    Say, Sara, I guess I could write a sequel, as you have suggested, to FROGS and name that

  17. MG, your song sounds like your ‘I’ likes being a brat, a badly behaved child. Is that right? When you look from this angle you have the feeling one knows they are acting like a senior adolescent.

  18. What chickenfarmer wrote above: ‘Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks’ and what MG wrote, ‘I don’t always do all the things that I ought. I don’t always do all the things I’ve been taught’ sounds to me like they know exactly what they are doing…and it is pure willful rebellion.

  19. In the book of Romans, Chapter 1, that CF was quoting from, in verse 20, “For ever since the creation of this world His invisible nature has been made clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made…His handiworks of creation. So men are without excuse, altogether without any defense or justification.” As declared in Ps. 19..”the Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
    Well! This is clarified even more as I read the book THE REAL MEANING OF THE ZODIAC where Rev. D. James Kennedy has given an exegitical, that is an extensive critical analysis and study of the stars in the Heavens and their real, although corrupted by mankind, meaning. He says in his book that startling discoveries related to extensive reasearch prove that God created the Zodiac! God intended the stars to foretell the Biblical based future of the earth, the coming of Christ and the final victory of Christ, in the stars. Dr. Kennedy says in his book that God made the stars, set them in their places and numbered them. The original meaning of what God set in the Heavens has become corrupted by demonic forces to turn it into modern day astology which our Bible condemns as it is a satanic counterfeit of the true meaning. (Is. 47: 13-14)
    Dr. Kennedy goes on to take each sign and show how God has set it to tell the coming of Jesus Christ and each feat of His victorious life. The pagan world has changed the names of the HERO intended to be Jesus, but corrupted it. The findings are exciting and make clearer the passages from the Bible that speak of this.. namely, Romans 1:18-20, Ps. 19:1, )
    The point here being…that the Heavens were intended to tell the message of Christ’s coming, His work on the earth and His ultimate victory. The ancient peoples detected these Biblical teachings and had a BIBLE in the SKY if they would receive the teachings from them. However, like many things of the Lord they were eventually corrupted.
    So they KNEW GOD; Princess Persnickety knew what was right; we know when we are being “brats” (there’s even dolls on the market called BRATZ)
    There is no excuse, says the Bible, to do wrong when we know to do right. It is sin.

  20. Yes. It’s amazing. BRAT IDENTIFICATION is easiest among us when we are targeting someone else’s tantrums. But OFTEN we miss the ‘brat in me” when we are bent on getting our own way or doing something our own way.
    Incidentally, there is a situation coming up in my life within the next 48 hours wherein I will have the opportunity to either act “BRAT” or mature Christian. And this is only one instance that I am aware of. Who knows how many other situations will arise before that? We shall see!

  21. I hope we do not confuse what is being termed here as brat with making wise and good decisions. Confront when one needs to and other common sense choices.

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