(Photo Lindsay O’Neil)
To Who You Will Become
By Sarah Komisky
There are some words that should never be associated with adulting – Loser, Bum, Diva, Lazy, Moocher, Free-loader, Spoiled, Irresponsible, Incapable, Dumb, Sheltered, Co-dependent, and the list goes on….
Can someone me tell when it was acceptable to criticize another? To make someone feel less than because they aren’t where we think they should be?
Regardless of your maturity level, your economic standing, your circumstances, it is never acceptable to label someone else who is a fellow human being.
One of the reasons I love Jesus so much is that He doesn’t do this.
He never shamed the woman caught in adultery. The tax collector. The blind beggar. Jesus loved them right where they were and gave them Himself.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” And 1 John 4:8 says, God is love.” As we encounter God who is love and love us just as we are, we inevitably want to change and be the best version of ourselves for Him and others!
Yet, we as people continue to pick up stones and throw them at others because they just don’t meet our expectations.
While I do wholeheartedly believe in being responsible and adulting and while there are cases where people are just not doing what they should be doing, however we still have no right to point fingers. Although we think the words we are saying may be enlightening, helpful, or motivating, they actually may be used to embarrass, shame, or scar. When this happens, trust can be broken, and a label may be embedded in their personhood. Plus, we gossip when we speak negatively and harshly about someone to someone else.
In turn, we can never judge someone’s story. Maybe that person is trying hard but at a financial loss, got fired, had their health take a detour, lost their home, didn’t have someone to help them adult, or had someone in their life that was a poor role model. There are a million different possibilities.
In the Scriptures, when the pharisees dragged a women they purposely caught in the act of adultery to Jesus to see what he thought of her to humiliate and stone her, Jesus’ response shocked them by saying, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 7:7).
When every person at the scene dropped their stones and only Jesus was left with the woman, He said to her:
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
- John 7:9-11
Everyone is imperfect. I know some adults who have their own home and pay their bills but are emotionally immature. Others have careers but don’t know how to cook. Everyone is at a different adulting level. Does it make it right? No. But is it our business? No.
I am not saying to make excuses. We must own our own behavior. But their adulting process is something between that person and God. He is the authority in who He says they are and is the only one who has the ability to truly change someone.
Our job is not to hurl stones, it is to be like Jesus. Have conversations. See beyond their defects. Be available in the life-long process that is scary and full of change.
Numbers 6:24-25 says, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” It is said that the song, “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan was written for his son and parallels Scripture. They read:
May God’s bless and keep you always/
May your wishes all come true…/
May you build a ladder to the stars/
And climb on every rung…/
This is God’s language to us. He believes the best, so should we. Coming alongside a person adulting is about speaking life into them. Give them permission to fail without judgement. Love. Grow. Support. Teach. Be like Jesus and speak blessing to the person they will become.