According to the Urban Dictionary, “Adulting” is defined as;

Adulting (v): to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

So first of all, that definition is hilarious. They had me at “settling beef without blasting on social media.” Urban Dictionary, I’m all in.

“Adulting” is a phrase we use now to describe doing the mundane tasks that responsible people get done. When we choose to stay in one night to write bills rather than go to the bars with friends, we are adulting. It is heavily used by people transitioning from living at home under their parents’ care to independent living, with all of its layers of responsibility. Older people just call this “priorities”, but adulting is a fun, new, and fresh way to describe basically just doing what’s right. So adulting can/should happen at any age. And yes, adulting is hard.

Did you know that adulting is addressed in the Bible? Check it out:

2 Peter 1:3-11 The Message (MSG)

Don’t Put It Off

3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

5-9 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

10-11 So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christian adulting includes good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love. What a marvelous list of adult qualities we are all called to embrace!

Alert discipline is that thing that moves you to pay off your credit card rather than charge the cute boots you can’t afford. Passionate patience allows you to be in a relationship with someone and negotiate your differences. Warm friendliness will woo others to you and to the Lord of your life. Good character will keep you out of jail. Spiritual understanding will help you withstand the storms and trials of your life. Reverent wonder will enable you to see God in the stars and the sunsets. But generous love? Generous love rules over all, and when we take that on, we are Jesus to the world.

Where do you see yourself on that list? What aspects of your faith journey need more work? We are all a work in progress. The good news is, Jesus is the Master, with every tool we need to do this maturing in faith thing. Let him work on you, building on what you’ve been given. Jesus’ invitation is clear: grow up!

The reverent wonder of a sunset over the sound. Photo by Michelle Robertson.


  1. Neta Campbell · July 3, 2019

    Thank you for these devotional so each morning. It’s a good way to start my day.

    Neta Campbell


  2. Linda Smith · July 3, 2019

    Betsy, I think At Water’s Edge may evolve into a devotional book. Sending today’s message to several grandchildren.


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