I can’t remember how many times I heard my mother admonish me by saying, “Act your age!” It usually had to do with something I did or said, which seemed more appropriate to someone much younger than myself. It might have been the time that I filled my pockets with ants and brought them home to create my own ant farm. Or the time I ruined a perfectly good baseball bat by using rocks to practice my hitting. Or maybe the time I invited several of my friends (male and female) to follow me into our bathroom, where we stood in line waiting for our turn. Picture my mother’s expression when she saw all of us jammed into our tiny bathroom each taking our turn. Her expression must have been priceless.
The problem with acting your age is summed up by the poster above, because no matter what age you are, you don’t know how to act your age because you’ve never been that age before. But there ought to be something different about you as you continue to age. As children, it’s pretty obvious. You grow…lots! You learn to talk and walk. Then you go to school and church where every day is a learning experience in knowledge, physical training, sociability, and spirituality. Then it’s off to college or into the work force and marriage and a home and kids. And at each of those steps, we start out in a position of not knowing how to act. And, believe me, at first it is just an act. Anyone who thinks they know how to behave properly in a delivery room as their first child is being born, is either very foolish or not very truthful.
Paul writes to the church at Corinth, 1Dear brothers and sisters,a when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people.b I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life.c 2I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, 3for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. (I Corinthians 3:1-3) It was as if an older child continued to need baby’s milk instead of solid food. Paul was telling these young Christians, “Act your age!”
In his letter to the Hebrews, he wrote, 12You 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. 13For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Age is inevitable. Maturity is a choice. And it’s a choice we need to make every day because we’ve never been this age before. So, starting today and through every additional day God grants you, learn something new, do something different, make a new friend, and with each change, act your age!