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Page 471

As can be observed from the diagram on the previous page, the teen years are a time of shifting responsibilities; it is a transitional period from childhood to adulthood. As an infant, your parents held maximum responsibility for you, and you were completely dependent upon them. You needed your parents to feed, wash, and move you. In time, however, you learned to feed and wash yourself, to crawl, and then to walk. Each of these steps increased your personal responsibility for caring for yourself and decreased your parents' direct responsibility for these actions. As the years progressed, you not only grew physically, but you also matured mentally. You grew in reasoning ability and decision-making capability. From needing to stay in the yard and requiring a babysitter, you have matured to being able to care for yourself in numerous daily situations.

During the teen years, when a person physically matures from a child to an adult, it is natural that he begins to desire adult freedoms. There is a healthy aspect to this desire. If a teen would want to remain and be treated as a young child, this would be an indication of an unhealthy developmental problem. However, this urge for independence and freedom is often accompanied by an overeager and overconfident spirit. A teen often lacks the carefulness which experience teaches.

    Two hikers are preparing to climb a mountain trail; the one is young and inexperienced, the other older and experienced. The inexperienced one bubbles over with eagerness and self-confidence. He sees no need to pack a first-aid kit. Why? He can handle it. Matches? No, he's not going to stay overnight. Rain gear? No, the sky's clear. Warmer clothing? There's no need - he's tough. Compass? No, he's not going to get lost. Map? No need, he knows the way. He honestly feels that all of these questions are needless worrying. He gets irritated by them. "Don't you trust me?" he asks somewhat bitterly.

    The experienced hiker, however, knows from experience what can happen to the best of hikers along the trail. He carefully prepares by packing first-aid kit, matches, rain gear, warmer clothing, compass, and map.

    The inexperienced hiker laughs at how long it takes the older hiker to get started. Full of confidence, he is far up the trail before the other begins. But you can imagine the likelihood of what will happen before the hike is completed.

To desire the "freedom" but not the "responsibilities" of adulthood is dangerous. Why?

How does confidence in ourselves differ from confidence in God's work in ourselves? See I Corinthians 10:12-13 and II Corinthians 12:9-10.


Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

- I Corinthians 10:12-13

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in wleakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

- II Corinthians 12:9-10


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