bits from bob....

Four Marks of Maturity

by Robert J. Young
December 15, 2002
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Henry VanDyke, in the nineteenth century, said there are four things every individual must do. This wisdom from centuries past remains timely and relevant.

1. Learn to think clearly without confusion.

  • A. Learning is a life-long process. Clear thinking seems to be in ever shorter supply in our contemporary world. The information explosion makes it harder and harder to stay current, yet more vital than ever.
  • B. Focus on primary priorities. No one can think about everything. Each life is a choice of things primary. Determine what will be the primary priorities of your life, and stay focused.
  • C. Focus on goodness (Phil. 4:8). Regardless of the priorities you may choose, goodness and ethical behavior are imperative. Our world values thinking which is rooted in a firm principle base and well defined values which lead to ethical actions.

    2. Make your way straight in life, by loving your fellowman sincerely.
    John Dunne observed that "no man is an island." This is still true. Relationships are imperative in life. No one can long live in isolation. Networks are an important part of life--in family, among friends, in our work and occupations. In the midst of dealing with other people, seek sincerity. No one likes a hypocrite. Integrity is admired. To love others sincerely is good advice in our modern world.

    3. Act from honest motives purely. Integrity affects both relationships and actions. I cannot like myself in my inconsistency. Honesty begins within me. Such is one characteristic of the pure life.

    4. Trust in God securely. Van Dyke did not merely say "trust," but "trust securely." Is there any other kind of genuine trust? What is semi-trust? God is either trustworthy or he is not. The one who can learn secure trust in God has obtained a great blessing, and is enabled to bless others.

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    Last updated December 19, 2002.