UPDATE (1/14/14): An edited version of this material will appear in the upcoming book, Grow Down, through Group Publishing.
**Sorry— here's a little rant I got on today. Not very "grown-up" of me I guess. 🙂
ADULT 1: fully developed and mature : grown-up / 2: of, relating to, intended for, or befitting adults <an adult approach to a problem> / 3: dealing in or with explicitly sexual material <adult bookstores> <adult movies> 1
ADULTERY: voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also : an act of adultery.
ADULTERATE: to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element;
UNadulterated people are largely an exception today… and they are largely the topic of insults from leading adults. My grandparents are nearing their 70th anniversary. They have lived exceptional unadulterated lives marked by simplicity, love, trust, and unselfishness. They were like this when they were young… and they are like this now, while they are old. They would do anything for anybody. Their favorite time in life is when they can spend time with each other or with friends and family, playing, chatting, eating. They cherish the little things and fear the big. They relish loving gifts. They take responsibility in their community and live for the best in others. They are not perfect, and they are not fully developed. They have made mistakes and done some things they regret. But they would be the first to tell someone that they do not have everything figured out about life and there are times when they feel lacking to accomplish something or when they realize they didn't do the right thing. Their hearts keep turning, more and more, towards faithfulness. Together they each have almost 90 years of history in learning to embrace the heart of a child. Their age may mean physical deterioration, but it conveys a resolving purity and love.
UNadulterated people are those who live with purity and innocence. UNadulterated people have not been corrupted, debased, or made impure by harmful elements. It's not naievete or ignorance. It's a process of sanctifiying purity that is winning the war against fully developed impurity.
The knowledge of good and evil does not make someone "fully developed" nor does it make someone "mature." Instead, the knowledge of good and evil makes someone corrupt, debased, and impure. In other words, adulterated lives have grown in the wrong direction.
One thing is clear to me. The pure of heart are not adults in the way that our society defines adults. They are so much better than that. They remind me of my six-year old daughter. Beautiful. Wonderful. Wide-eyed. Fighting against the eroding pressures of this world to remain true. Inspiring to me… a person who too often gives in to the complexities and needs a reminder to desire the simple truth of life.
Jesus said, "If anyone who causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck" (Matthew 18:6). I think he was serious.
1 Definitions taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com