Do You Know What It Really Means to Be an Adult?

Responsibility is what it means to be an adult

It’s becoming more and more rare to see people living, what I define as, an adult lifestyle. If you view being an adult only as reaching a certain age, then the world appears to be doing great producing adults! But, being an actual adult means so much more than reaching a certain age. In this post, I will define what it really means to be an adult. Just a warning, this post may start off sounding harsh, but stay with me; it’ll end with some motivation!

If I could sum up what it means to be an adult in one word, it would be responsibility.

Most people lack the desire for personal responsibility these days, and it’s getting worse. The upcoming generations are the most irresponsible people that have ever lived. I’m generalizing, not everyone is irresponsible. There always seems to be a reason to pass the blame to someone or something else. Truthfully, blame is only a way to shift responsibility away from ourselves onto someone else. Blame, not taking ownership, is irresponsibility.

The real problem is that this kind of irresponsibility has become part of who we are. As a result, we have a world full of grown children. To make matters worse, these ‘fully grown children‘ are not happy children. You’re probably saying, “Okay, what are you talking about Alex?

Let me explain by exploring how God designed humanity and how He views adulthood.

Responsibility is in our DNA. God designed us to be responsible. In the beginning, God only gave man one thing; responsibility. Thus, some level of our happiness comes from our ability to hold responsibility.

You can find this in the Bible. In the first chapter of the first book to be exact. In Genesis 1:27-29 God speaks to Adam and gives him responsibility for the earth and everything in it. I find this interesting because – before God gave humanity rules, laws or any guidelines – He first presented the idea of ownership through responsibility.

Related Post: The Controversial Truth About the Meaning of the Word ‘Peace’

Before the existence of the 10 commandments there was responsibility. Before any guidelines or rules there was responsibility. It is in our DNA, starting from the first generation of mankind.

Let’s test this for ourselves…

Put on your thinking cap for a moment. (What a weird saying… Who even came up with that?) Take a moment and think of someone that you know that you consider to be very irresponsible. (Don’t say their name out loud, please.) Now, pause for a minute, and ask yourself, are they actually happy with their lives? I can tell you that the answer is no; no matter how hard they pretend.

That’s a long explanation for why people are unhappy fully-grown children. But, it’s important because I believe that this is the key to a major part of people’s unhappiness. This irresponsibility that we just explored creates an internal and external conflict.

  • Internal Conflict: As I just wrote, we were created to hold high levels of responsibility. When we don’t, something is off inside of us. It creates a strong, unexplainable internal struggle.
  • External Conflict: People fight, argue, go to court over the issue of not accepting responsibility. Rules and laws are only established because of man’s inability to maintain responsibility for our own actions. Think about that for a moment!

If you want to live a more fulfilled life, begin holding a higher level of responsibility. Click to Tweet

But there is some good news! At any moment, you can decide to be a God defined adult!

That’s the wonderful thing about responsibility; you can start at any time. You can start taking responsibility immediately in your life. If you do, I promise that you will begin to experience a more fulfilled life. To take this one step further for Christians, it is our job on earth to maintain personal responsibility of our lives. It is our duty to set the standard and example for what true adulthood looks like. We are the solution; but in many cases, we are acting like the problem.

3 Ways to Hold More Responsibility and Grow as a Christian Adult:

1. Take the blame/fall for everything that has your name on it. Even when it’s not your fault.
2. Take responsibility for things that no one asks you to.
3. When you make a mistake, and it is your fault, take full responsibility, don’t sleep until you’ve made things right.
4. Ask yourself this question daily: What can I do today to take on a great level of personal responsibility? (Comment below!)

I encourage you to take responsibility for your life today. Become the God defined adult that you were made to be. Look at your actions, not the actions of others. Don’t look out the window, look in the mirror.

Written by Alex Sanfilippo

My mission is to live a life honorable in every way to God my father. I am passionate about building disciples and strengthening the church. My daily goal is to be a positive influence on the people around me and to make the world a better place.

  • Garrett Thompson

    Like you Alex, I have noticed the blame game being played more and more in recent years. And honestly, I have to catch myself from time to time doing the same thing. It may sting in the short term to take responsibility for a mistake but it will make you/me feel so much better in the long run.

    Thanks for this!

  • Jared Graybeal

    Dude this is so good!!! Alex, you killed it!!

  • Kristen

    This topic is much-needed for millennials and reminds me of something I heard recently. Someone said, “Work is such a curse.” No indeed! God created work and set Adam right to it in the garden. We need to take ownership, not just for our work, but also for all the other responsibilities God’s given us and own up when we fall short. Thanks for the great reminder!

    • So true Kristen! Thanks for sharing a great point on this topic.

  • Benjamin Baxter

    Alex, you dropped a truth bomb today! In hectic times like these, we need a motivation like this to help us remember our God-given roles.

  • Virginia Anthony

    Alrighty…. I see you Alex… over there dropping mics!!

    It’s not only important for us to be responsible for ourselves, but it is gods design in his plan for our lives to love, care, and be responsible for the well-being of other people. It is critical that each one of us finds the time to care for one another. This is why, in times of need, people, communities, and churches come together to support those who need help.

    “God speaks to Adam and gives him responsibility for the earth and everything in it.”

    You are absolutely right it’s not just about reaching a certain age or paying bills or having certain things… it’s a mentality. Being the bigger person, saying I’m sorry when it’s necessary, and not judging people are key aspects to be in a true, but sure, Christian and person.

    Excellent read!!!

  • Escape The Box

    Thanks Alex. The irony is that in order that we become responsible adults in Christ we first need to become as humble children before Him. https://escapethebox.blog/2017/09/02/theological-shrink-syndrome/

    • So true – Very cool alternative perspective on this. Thanks for sharing!