I’m in the middle of my twenties. As I reflect over the past several years, I often find myself thinking, “I wish someone would have prepared me for this.” What are those things? Below are 20 of them.
1) Just because you are single doesn’t mean you are insignificant.
Jesus was single. Paul was single. Jeremiah was single. Your identity is not in your relationship status, but what Christ has accomplished for you.
2) Don’t diss the church.
God’s plan A is the church — and there is no plan B. Yes, it’s imperfect. But that’s because you and I are there. Let’s serve, celebrate, and appreciate Jesus’ bride.
3) The first year out of college is super hard.
Worst year of my life? That’s easy: first year out of college. New city, new friends, new church. Everything changed. It takes a while to adjust to the “real-world.”
4) Nothing is worth losing sleep over.
Unless you’re talking about praying for non-Christians, nothing is worth staying up all night for. God will sustain you for that work meeting, that date, that assignment.
5) Devotions are vitally important.
If you don’t spend regular time with God via Bible reading and prayer, you will be weak, empty, and ineffective. Get with God often.
6) Don’t expect to have a six figure job right out of college.
Call me naive, but I thought I’d be making a LOT more money right out of college than I did. Most people are humbled when they get their first pay check. I was. And you might be, too.
7) People-pleasing is not worth it.
Never. Ever. Don’t do it. God is your judge, not man.
8) It’s okay to slow down and relax.
Ambitious? Great. You might think you need to conquer the world. But you don’t. Take a vacation, take a sabbath, take a day off. It’s okay to slow down and enjoy things.
9) Focus on edification over entertainment.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Snapchat and Netflix. But problems arise when you’re more concerned with being distracted than being sanctified. Enjoy entertainment, but focus on edification.
10) Stop looking at porn — like, right now.
Don’t want to beat a dead horse. You’ve heard this a thousand times. If you are struggling, start here.
11) Don’t waste your whole life on social media.
I like social media a lot. But spending too much time on it will create one of two things: arrogance or depression. Arrogance because you’ll start to think you’re above people; depression because everyone’s life will seem better than yours. No one’s life is as awesome as they portray on Instagram.
12) Not everyone has to be married by age 22.
I thought I would be married by age 22. I mean, after all, most of my Christian friends were. But this is not the path God takes everyone on. Don’t let anyone despise you for your singleness.
13) Christians who disagree with you are going to heaven, too.
You are starting to read more books and learn theology. Great! But you will come across lots of Christians who disagree with you theologically. Don’t reject someone for whom Christ died just because they don’t believe in double predestination.
14) Don’t take the path of least resistance.
Don’t take the easy route just because it’s comfortable. That might mean going back to school to get your Master’s degree, or quitting your job to do overseas mission. Whatever it is, the hard route — if God calls — is worth it.
15) Life will get better (probably).
I asked multiple “older” Christians in my church which decade has been the best. No one said their twenties. Apparently, life gets better.
16) You are not of this world.
One my biggest concerns for my fellow Christian twenty-somethings is this: wordiness. When I say “wordiness,” what I have in mind are value systems incongruent with culture, but not the Word. A.W. Tozer helps here: “Christians must empathically remember that the Word within us is in conflict with the world around us.”
17) You can make a difference right now.
You don’t have to wait until you’re a senior citizen to tell someone about Jesus. Sure, God often makes us wait, and takes us through the furnace to refine our character in order to maximize usefulness. But “waiting” seasons doesn’t mean inactivity.
18) Learn proper stewardship.
Money, time, gifts. These have not been given to you; these have been entrusted to you. They don’t belong to you; they belong to God. Learn to steward these for God’s glory for eternity’s sake.
19) Everyone is a missionary.
Go to Africa. Visit the Middle East. Travel to Hungaria. But even if you don’t, you are still a missionary where God has placed you right now.
20) Jesus is totally worth it.
Life is filled with countless tragedies. Like the Psalmist, “How Long, O Lord?” is the cry of my heart on some days. But when I think about the gospel, when I meditate on the Scriptures and the promises of heaven, when I think about the glory of God, I am reminded that he who began a work in me will finish it, and living for Jesus is infinitely better than anything this world can offer.
Life is but a mist. It’s okay to enjoy things — indeed, God commands our happiness in Him. But time is ticking, and you never know when God will call you home. Live like you’re dying, and live for what truly matters. As C.T. Stud once said, “Only one life, ‘Twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”