As the youngest of 8 kids, I grew up with the perspective that I just wasn’t old enough to do..that.
Oh and that too. You have to wait for that.
But then my perspective started to change. Some of the most influential leaders God used in the Bible were young people. Not characters. But people. REAL people with REAL lives. Sure, I grew up hearing the stories and I had always thought everyone was so old and grown up. But there came a point when I put it together that these real people that God used were my age.
So here it is: Here’s to 20 years of 20 things I’m not too young for:
1) Say NO to activities: Yeah, God knew we needed rest. Save a day for no commitments. Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate (Exodus 20:8-11). Learn to say no. With me, money has been tight growing up so I used to take every opportunity to work. And I don’t like saying no to hang out with people. But then my weeks were crazy, crazy, crazy. But God has commanded me to take a day to rest- watch a movie, sleep in, take a walk & SAY NO, even to good things.
2) Put others first: It’s Simple, life isn’t about me. Or you. I don’t need to be the center of attention and the world doesn’t revolve around me. Or you. It’s about loving Jesus and it’s about loving people (Philippians 2:3, 1 John 4:20)
3) Understand and know your Identity: My job, my achievements, people’s approval of me & my many failures do not define me. Let’s talk media. The numbers of friends I have or likes on a photo on Facebook don’t define me. God does and He says I am fearfully & wonderfully made (Psalm 139, 1 Peter 2:9. Done Deal. Period. Stop trying to earn approval when you already have it.
4) Honor your parents: It’s a command (Exodus 20:12, Colossians 3:20). Even when I don’t want to, or even when I don’t feel like it and it’s not convenient, I am called to honor my parents. And God will bless you for it. And when I get married, I am still commanded to honor them. That doesn’t mean I do every single thing they ask for the rest of my life, but it does mean I honor them with both my words and actions.
5) Lead someone in their walk with Christ: I don’t need to know every Scripture or know what everything needs to look like. The fact that I was a sinner, but now I am saved because of Jesus, is enough for me to know that God can and will use me (John 9) if I am willing . Don’t use the excuse “I don’t know enough” to stop you from encouraging someone. My testimony alone is enough for God to use. I am not too young, and neither are you.
6) Make wise financial decisions: Graduated from High School, off to a 4 year University for my Bachelor’s Degree that my parents pay for? Nope. I went to Liberty University for my freshman year and loved it, but came back home to do LU’s Online program. I work part-time and I am now entering my 3rd year without any type of loan. Don’t do things just because other people do. Stop comparing and start living out what God has called you to do. My decisions affect my future marriage and my future kids . Save now. On a side note, I love shoes and purses, and clothes. I’ll admit it. But I don’t need them in every color, brand, etc. Learn to say no.
7) Lead people older than you: Yes, you read that right. You can be a leader (1 Timothy 4:12). That doesn’t mean be cocky or disrespectful and then start thinking you deserved that role. If you have a leadership role, it’s because God gave it to you in the first place (James 1:17). It’s called grace. When I started reading God’s word, and I starting finally living FOR Him & IN Him in high school, God provided me with an opportunity to be a youth leader in my youth group. And then it all started from there. I saw miracles. Don’t despise your youth. Let God use it.
8) Speak Truth: God’s Truth is Truth . So it doesn’t matter how old you are when you speak it. God’s truth is forever (Isaiah 40:8). I may not be married yet, but I can still encourage others with the biblical perspective on marriage. Make sense?
9) Learn how to Dress Classy & Modest Without Lookin’ Like Grandma: Okay yeah it’s hard to find much material on anything these days. But really, when I set my mind on looking for classy and modest, I find them. Sure, it’s annoying at times. Like honestly, I’m not modest because it’s my natural desire. I prefer to wear what I like. But remember, it’s not about me. Or you. God has asked to save everything for my husband and He has asked me to not let other men stumble (1 Timothy 1:9, 1 Peter 3:3-4) . Besides, the attention that you get when you wear immodest clothes really isn’t the kind of attention you wanted to receive in the first place.
10) Gain Wisdom: Yeah, so this Christian life journey wasn’t just a “fend for yourself” and “figure it out on your own” type thing. God has given us His Word. Read it. His boundaries are for our benefit because He loves us. You may be 15 years old but God can give you wisdom that go beyond your years. Ask Him for it, and He will give it to you generously (see James 1:5).
Remember:It’s a process & things take time as your Maker molds you. Be patient. But no, you are not too young
See Their Lives: Ruth (the book of Ruth), Joseph of Egypt (Genesis 37-50), David (1 & 2 Samuel), Mary the Mother of Jesus (The Gospels), Timothy (Acts 16-20, 1st & 2nd Timothy) just to name a few.
Last Thoughts: Sure, there are so many more, but these are the ones that God has had to work in me specifically so far. I still struggle with all of them at times, but again, it’s a process and it’s about progress, not perfection. This can only be done through His grace.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because
you are young, but set an example for the believers
in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
“20 Things I’m Not Too Young For (Part II)” will be posted soon to follow.