Maturity Matters

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Common sense would tell us that people’s personal maturity will influence their careers, their lives and their relationships, regardless of how talented they are.

Alas, common sense isn’t as common these days as perhaps it once was. For decades now—stretching back at least as far as political scandals in the ’80s and ’90s, and maybe further back than that—many cultural observers have been quick to try to separate someone’s personal life from his or her public persona and performance. Yes, someone might make not-so-great (or blatantly immoral) choices behind close doors. But he’s such a great actor! She’s such a great musician! He’s such a great athlete!

The underlying message: If you’re talented enough, character doesn’t really matter. You can do whatever you want, and you don’t have to play by the established rules. Or, in some cases, the established laws.

But I wonder if we’re finally beginning to reevaluate the foolishness of that cultural stance. From the Lance Armstrong doping scandal several years ago to the current #MeToo movement, the idea that the rich, famous and successful can do illegal and immoral things with impunity seems to be eroding. It turns out personal maturity and decency do matter.

That message seems to be trickling down into some places that might be a bit surprising, one of which I stumbled across this week.

I’m a fairly big NFL fan, and I watched the draft coverage this year like a proverbial hawk. It’s a fascinating thing to see which athletes get chosen by which teams. And in at least one case, a team’s choices were guided by something more than just raw talent and potential.

Living in Colorado, I follow the Denver Broncos pretty closely. Yesterday I came across this article by ESPN’s main Bronco reporter, Jeff Legwold: “Broncos believe a rise in maturity will raise their game.” Interestingly, the Broncos went after guys who not only had talent, but who were leaders and influencers on their college teams, too. Legwold writes, “The Broncos’ 2018 draft class is filled with former team captains and multiyear starters who have game after game and season after season of proven production.”

Legwold also quoted Broncos head honcho John Elway at length:

“There are lots of seniors in the group, so we’re excited about that maturity level—all of them are that way,” Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said. “One thing we wanted to do going into this draft was get quality football players but also quality people, and that was an emphasis—to have that maturity level. One thing that we learned last year when we’re 5-11, when you’re in a losing streak, you need that maturity and that leadership to get things turned around. These players have that ability and they have that maturity level.”

Maturity. Maturity. Maturity.

In a world where it often seems as if talent matters and character is rarely considered important, this feels like a heartening trend, one that I hope continues to flourish. Because even though some folks might be tempted to think otherwise, who we are when no one is looking really does matter.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

icis bokonon 9 months ago
So...you can say things, but you don't actually have to do them. I read about that in the bible one time.
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Anonymous 9 months ago
Well, there's always Mexico, Canada or points east, U.K, Germany, France, etc.

Seriously, if people are so ashamed to be Americans, why do they stay in America? If they think it's so bad since Trump got in, well the answer is pretty simple - leave. I remember all the actors and all saying they were going to Canada, so I'm still waiting for coverage of the great Hollywood migration.
Brian Curtis 9 months ago
I note that you don't try to defend Trump. This is wise.
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Anonymous 9 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

I concur.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Why was this guy's comment deleted and not Beth's? I'm sensing a little bias here...
E Hayes 9 months ago
It does matter to me, that's why I don't follow celebrity news, I'd rather not know about the actors and actresses personal lives if it's going to make it hard to watch a movie or a TV show.
It's also really sad to hear about marriages breaking up because of the entertainer's jobs; it makes me feel guilty watching the movie/show if I know the entertainer's working on it helped to destroy his/her marriage.
charitysplace 9 months ago
"Yes, someone might make not-so-great (or blatantly immoral) choices behind close doors. But he’s such a great actor! She’s such a great musician! He’s such a great athlete!"

I have never had any problem removing an entertainer's personal life from their artistic achievement. I think it's possible to admire someone's talent and acknowledge it without condoning their behavior.
Beth 9 months ago
So when are you going to write a post denouncing James Dobson's support of Donald Trump?
Anonymous 9 months ago
Why do they need to? It was his choice to support Donald Trump, there is no reason for them to "denounce," him, even if they disagree. 
Anonymous 9 months ago
James Dobson doesn't run Focus on the Family anymore.

But I couldn't help but think about Trump either when I read this.

-- The Kenosha Kid
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Anonymous 9 months ago
Whoa...she has every right to post here. This is a Christian site, which means it's aligned with the teachings of Christ, who taught His followers to be welcoming and kind. 

"Come now, and let us reason together." -- Isaiah 1:18

Also, "lib" isn't a very respectful way to address someone. Would you call someone that to their face?

Thanks for posting, Beth.

-- The Kenosha Kid
Anonymous 9 months ago
The truth is, that comment shouldn't even be here. James Dobson left Focus on the Family 8 years ago and is no longer affiliated with them. Focus on the Family has no jurisdiction over what he does and they certainly do not need to "denounce" him as he is not affiliated with the company any more.
Holly B. 9 months ago
We should clarify that Dr. Dobson isn’t with Focus on the Family any longer. In 2003, he initiated a leadership transition process here at the ministry, which came to a close on February 26, 2010. He now has a broadcast titled Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk. For more information about Family Talk, as well as details about how to contact them, we encourage you to visit their website - http://www.drjamesdobson.org/.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

My reaction to your comment Beth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vw8IlDUXx5w