The Timothy Group

Leadership Training
 for Young Men

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No Longer a Child

No Longer a Child

Wed Apr 17 2024

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. - I Cor. 13:11

Growing up happens in stages. But there are some common milestones along the way. Puberty, first job, moving out, starting a family. Sometimes, when we're between milestones the road seems less clear. Settle into a routine, boredom settles in and we reach for a little fun. Every boy asks "when do I grow up"? Well that's the cool thing... (stay tuned)

When do I grow up?

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. - I Timothy 4:12

Paul writes to Timothy, instructing him in how to interact with people of different maturity levels around him. This is a necessary skill for all of us. It's said that respect is earned, not given and there's some truth to that. "Let no man despise" is an exhortation to set an example and to demonstrate that competence and honesty which characterizes a well-rounded adult.

We never really "arrive" at that level of maturity that we're always looking forward to. The truth is, everyone's "faking it" to one extent or another. That's part of the adventure. You have to just do the thing, and learn as you go. So in that sense, we never "grow up" but are always reaching for that next level of growth.

Why do we play games?

There's a pietistic attitude towards amusements that it's all a waste of time. Video games, books, movies, music. The reality is that art, aesthetics, and culture are all part of the world we live in and are not divorced from the influence of our worldview. As a matter of fact, western culture and the world as a whole owe much of its innovation to principles built from the principles of Christianity.

Games and entertainment applied well are merely another training ground for adulthood. Teamwork, perseverance, application of various skills are all things that may start in a playground, but are necessary to a functioning society. Be intentional with your choice of activities and then give it your full effort while you can.

Embrace the Boredom: T-Shaped Skills

Even with all our modern opportunity for knowledge and practice, we find ourselves bored at times. The default behavior is to reach for the next dopamine source like a monkey. Like fasting though, the deprivation can be instructive if we allow ourselves to be bored. Artificial scarcity can make opportunity for further learning and growth.

This can sometimes take the shape of working on a task or project outside our primary interest. Woodworking or plumbing for someone more intellectually minded, or balancing books for someone used to working with their hands. Having even a modicum of awareness and proficiency in multiple areas will both make the individual more flexible, but also enhance their particular specialty. Our church like many others needed streaming and recording capability when the lockdowns came, and because I had invested time learning such technology for video game tournaments I was able to help develop that ministry opportunity.

Understand your moods and motivations with the help of friends and mentors, and then leverage them to increase your effectiveness.

Liberty and Purpose

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert

In the western world we throw around terms like "liberty" and "freedom", but these words don't mean "license to do whatever we want". In the "old world" it wasn't uncommon for people to be persecuted for following their convictions. The new world was hoped to give an opportunity of liberty such that people could live as they should. There is no meaning in raw hedonistic pursuits. Chasing personal pleasure will never satisfy or grant purpose and meaning. Every man and woman needs to be part of something bigger than themselves, and serve a higher purpose.

"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." - 1 John 3:8

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" - John 1:12

Which way, oh man?

Learn more about how young men can develop character and leadership through programs like CHALLENGE.