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With no illumination from the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14) and no template for life (2 Timothy 3:16-17), I could not relate well with others or find my true niche in life.
I made many mistakes as a young person. Though I achieved the height of omniscience as a 19-year old, there was one piece of intelligence I did not have: I was dumber than I knew. Mercifully, the Lord turned the light on when I was twenty-five (John 3:7). It was then that I began to realize my dumbness and how I was getting dumber by the day.
After the light was turned on (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19), the more I was able to see the things that had dulled my senses (Hebrews 3:7-8, 4:7, 5:12-14). This dullness kept me from the humility (James 4:6) and maturity needed (John 17:17) to grow in Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
Unfortunately, by the time I got to God, many mistakes had accumulated in my life. Thirty years later, I’m still living out the repercussions of some of those errors. I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to have a working template for being an adult.
I’m not angry with my father or others for not giving me one, though it would have been nice to have someone teach me. The two essential things I needed were a relationship with God and someone to guide me (Acts 8:30-31). Being born again and having a friend to teach what it means to be born again is called discipleship. I had neither.
If I were that older friend teaching a 20-year old things that I would like to have known, I would tell my 20-year old self these twenty things. This list is not exhaustive, and the stuff on my list is not in order of priority. All of them are important. I wish I knew them. I’m sure you can add to them.
Twenty Things I Would Tell My Twenty Year Old Self
BONUS TIP: You have a cross that is custom-fitted to your back. You will have to decide how you’re going to think about that cross and live it out on a daily basis. You are called to suffer (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:21). How you steward the “gift of suffering” will affect how you respond to God, yourself, and others. Stewarding the gift of cross-carrying is the hardest lesson you’ll ever learn.
If you need a friend, someone to come alongside you to help you with the questions in your life, then you’re more than welcome to find a friend and ask questions here. I have spent the last few years building a library of practical content for anyone looking for care. I would love to come alongside you.