As we begin to reach young adulthood, this is a time in our lives when we are searching for the real purpose of life. In this searching process, most of us will not openly admit that there are a lot of things about life that we simply don't understand. In the minds of many of us who are young, the most appropriate way to go about this quest for answers is to do it secretly. Therefore, we pretend that we have found the answers to life's many questions. This alleged proof that we have found the answer to the questions of life is then acted out by us through our music, our dance, our dress, and our behavior in general.
Playing pretend is a major part of our young adolescence. We played pretend with doll babies, toy guns, costumes of our favorite super heroes, etc. The game of pretend does not end as we reach young adulthood, we simply pretend on a higher level. Young people who have been exposed to the things of God find themselves faced with questions such as; am I to young to think about getting serious about God? Do I really want God to be a part of my life right now? The Bible has much to say to young people concerning these matters.
AS THOSE OF US WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED IT KNOW, PUBERTY AND BEYOND WAS A TIME OF MAJOR CHANGE. It was a period of rapid growth. This time of rapid growth marked the end of childhood and the beginning of young adulthood. During puberty our bodies and attitudes began to change noticeably, as did many of our feelings.The apostle Paul made mention of the change which takes place in the lives of young people, when he was teaching about the importance of walking in a spirit of mature Christian love toward others.Paul said when he was a child he thought like a child, but when he became a man, he put away childish things.1stCor. Paul's comments accurately describe the normal psychophysical changes that take place in normal human development. Not all young people experience these changes at the same age.
Some young people begin to notice major changes in their bodies much earlier than other young people do. At the beginning of puberty, most girls are taller and grow faster than most boys who are the same age.After boys begin their period of rapid growth, they soon catch up with the girls. While it is true that puberty brings a rapid change in our lives, it still does take some time to be completed.
Many people think that puberty happens overnight, one day you are an innocent unaware child, and you wake up the next morning totally sexually and physiologically aware of your adulthood.In truth the maturing process can last anywhere from one to six years.The blueprint for the physical changes that occur during puberty was actually established before birth, when the hypothalamus and pituitary gland (a small organ attached to the brain, which helps our body to develop) were programmed by hormones for a later "awakening".THIS AWAKENING PROCESS OFTEN COMES WITH MUCH PRESSURE AND CONFLICT.
THE IMPACT OF PEER PRESSURE
THE IMPACT OF PEER PRESSURE--- One of the greatest external hindrances to young adults giving heed to sound advice, and operating in wisdom, is peer pressure. From the cradle to the grave, we are all under pressure in varying degrees to conform ourselves to the way our society says we should be. Young adults often find themselves under a tremendous amount of pressure, to give in to the things their peers deem as being important. There are many different ways we can respond to this pressure, and there are many different ways this peer pressure can affect us mentally.
Peer pressure invades every aspect of our lives, seeking to mold and shape our mindset and attitudes to its specifications. This pressure comes upon young people from every direction, music, TV, movies, misguided immature adults, just to name a few. Everyone feels a need to belong, to feel connected with others and be with others who share attitudes, interests, and circumstances that resemble their own. People choose friends who accept and like them and see them in a favorable light. Young adults normally want to be with people their own age, their peers. During the teen years, we normally began to spend more time with our peers without parental supervision.
With peers, teens can be both connected and independent, as they break away from their parents' images of them and develop identities of their own. What gives peer pressure such great sway and influence in our lives, stems from the fact that, we all want to fit in, feel accepted, and a part of something. We also want to feel that we are independent and mature enough to cope with life our own way. Many turn to their peers to receive validation in these and similar areas.
Whatever group of our peers we desire to be a part of, usually has certain codes we must adhere to if we want to fit in, (you must talk like us, dress like us, act like etc) Adherence to the dictates of these various groups, usually is the ticket that's needed to be accepted by the group of our peers we seek to be a part of. Wanting to fit in with our peers is not new, during the time of Christ there were many who believed on him, but out of fear of being rejected by their particular religious click, they would not publicly admit they believed on Christ, Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. JN 12:42-43 . We should beware least our desire to fit in causes us to be guilty of the same thing.
It is Satan who deceives young adults into thinking that they are too young to come to God. Many young people tend to think that God is not interested in them, and has no use for them while they are still young. The truth of the matter is God calls and uses people of all ages, including those who are young. The Bible gives us many examples of God calling and using those who are young. Most young people tend to think they have plenty of time to get right with God, seeing that they are young and have their whole life before them.
Not only do most young people think this way, but people of all ages tend to think this is the case. Most people think that the acceptable time to get saved is anytime up until the last second before they die. The Bible tells a different story. It tells us the right time to come to Christ is right now, meaning the moment a person of any age realizes that God is calling them. In this book we closely examine how God calls those who are young. It is very important that we develop the right attitude about God, while we are still young.
It is the attitudes that we develop about God which will help determine what type of relationship we will seek to develop with God. The Bible gives us a great deal of information about the methods, will and character of God. We are told that God loves us, he is faithful, he cannot lie, etc. Satan is aware of the fact that as young people seek to draw near to God, they will through experience, gain first hand knowledge that these and other similar traits of God are true. WHILE WE ARE STILL YOUNG, IT IS SATAN'S INTENT TO DISTORT OUR VIEW OF THE CHARACTER OF GOD, IN SUCH A WAY, THAT WE WILL NEVER EARNESTLY SEEK TO HAVE A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (WE SHOULD BEWARE).
IT'S ACTUALLY TRUE---WE REALLY CAN LEARN A LOT FROM THOSE WHO HAVE TRAVELED DOWN THE ROAD AHEAD OF US. College graduation for some is a major landmark, in their quest to be acknowledged, for their knowledge gained. An Oftentimes overlooked fact by many young adults is the fact that some of their best advice, can come from those who have already been down the road they are just beginning to travel.
Those who are older are often best equipped to advise and encourage young people to make the right choices in life. This is due to the past life experiences, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) of those who are older. More than learning a basic list of rights and wrongs, and do's and don'ts, those who are older, often will, encourage young people learn to walk in wisdom, in regards to the life choices they make. Jenny Hope tells us that research has shown that older people are generally wiser than young.
"According to their research, although the brain slows down with age, this simply helps older men and women develop greater insight. The reason for this is that, unlike the young, the elderly's brains are not ruled by the chemicals that fuel emotion and impulse. So their slower responses really are more thoughtful and 'wiser'. For their study, scientists looked at the brain scans of 3,000 Californians aged between 60 and 100. These showed that what older people lose in reaction times, they make up for in better decision-making. Professor DilipJeste, from the University of California at San Diego, said older people were less affected by dopamine, which helps signals pass between neurons and is involved in the reward system of the brain.
'The fact that older people are slower to respond than younger people is widely seen as a disadvantage. But that's not always the case. The elderly brain is less dopamine- dependent, making people less impulsive and controlled by emotion. 'Older people are also less likely to respond thoughtlessly to negative emotional stimuli because their brains have slowed down compared to younger people. 'This, in fact is what we call wisdom," (daileymail.com. UK).
Wisdom is all about maturing to the point, of consistently making positive choices, and getting into the mindset of developing, right habits. The type of wisdom we speak of, is best developed in young people as a result of their reflections on the truths they have encountered from sound advice, and careful attention to doing what's right in every situation.
The Bible highlights the importance young people , not only seeking to obey a set of rules, but just as importantly, also walking is wisdom. In order for young people to walk in this type of wisdom, they must be able to make the right decisions in the hard situations they confront in their lives.
WE CAN LEARN A LOT FROM KING SOLOMON
Young adults can learn a lot about their true purpose in life and what's most important in life, from the wisdom shared by King Solomon.In the Book of Ecclesiastes we find Solomon in his old age, reflecting back on his life and his attempts to find purpose and fulfillment in life, while for the most part, leaving God out of the equation. It wasn't enough for Solomon to hear about right and wrong from others. like many young people, he wanted to know for himself. It was a tragic decision.Solomon was very rich and could afford to get anything money could buy, therefore he said, he tried it all.
The king said he tried to find fulfillment in education, pleasure, materialism, wealth, music, philosophy, status, and sex. He actually did what most people only dream of. But in the end, it all turned into a nightmare of emptiness and vanity.He said he tried all types of things and situations in his quest. He even named his various escapades, he said he got high, he partied, he got the best of music, he got him 1000 women, of which he could have sex with anytime he wanted, he built large mansions, he got all types of silver and gold, etc. It is in this context that we see Solomon, looking back over the days of his youth, and how he had squanderedmuch of what God had blessed him with, in his quest to find fulfillment, meaning, and peace, in the things of this world..
Solomon repeatedly used the word "vanity" when describing what he achieved in his quest, (he used it 38 times).The word vanity used here is not speaking of personal vanity, as in spending too much time in front of their mirror every day. The word in the original Hebrew means emptiness, futility, meaninglessness, a wisp of a vapor, a hollow, empty ring, nothingness and a bubble that bursts. Solomon was saying that nothing on this earth would satisfy us completely. No thing, no pleasure, no relationship, no accomplishment will bring enduring value in life.
"and, behold, this also is vanity. 3I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. 4I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 7I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 8
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 10And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.11Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." ECCL 2:1-10.After all of his searching, he came to the conclusion that the whole purpose of man was to (while still young) respect and obey God. (COMPARE BELOW)
SOLOMON FOUND HIS TRUE PURPOSE
12:1Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 13Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
YOUNG ADULTHOOD A TIME OF MAJOR CHANGE
Solomon tells us, God wants us to enjoy life, but in ways which don't conflict with his design and purpose for us on the earth. Most of us who start out in life, view life as something to be explored, discovered, and experienced, to the fullest degree of our ability. Since it was God who made us, it is he who knows what it takes to give us a real life.We are told to not to trust in the material things of this world, but in God, who gives us all things to enjoy.Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 1st Tim .
The world projects the impression, that it's not possible to please God and find enjoyment in life. God says real fulfillment and joy can only be found in him. God tells those who are young to enjoy life, but he also warns he will judge them for the choices they make. "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Eccl 11:9
The apostle Paul tells young people, that it is wise to avoid catering to certain urges, which can lead to ones hurt. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2nd Tim 2:22. Young adulthood is the time when our desires and carnal lusts strike the strongest. This is also the time when we have the least amount of experience in dealing with these pressing issues of life. None of us are born with the knowledge of life experiances, this type of knowledge can only be gained by life experiances. Young dulthood is a time when, the hormones flowing through our body causes our emotions to fluctuate between extremes. This is a time when we are still learning how to cope with the physical and emotional functions which are pressing upon us.
All these factors combined, can and often do lead to many potentially dangerous and hurtful circumstances and situations.Many who are young have followed their desires, feelings, and opinions, to the point of their own hurt.In some cases to they went to an early grave, because they lacked, knowledge, and wisdom, which comes through experience, and giving heed to sound council.Solomon tells the tragic story of a young man who had feelings and desires, but lacked understanding.
This young man was enticed into a sinful situation, without realizing, that the price he would pay for this encounter was his life.7And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, 8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, 10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. 13So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, 18Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. 22He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; 23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Prov 7:7-23.For many young people, youth is the first half of their life which they spend, to make the second half of their life miserable.
BY THE TIME OF YOUNG ADULTHOOD THERE ARE CERTAIN BASIC THINGS WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED FROM OUR PARENTS
By divine design we are not born into this world, as fully grown adults. It's during the time of adolescence, that God desires that our parents instill in us certain positive values, standards and goals. Of course this is not always the case, many parents and guardians fall woefully short in this department. God in his wisdom already knew that parents cannot properly instruct, guide and discipline their children unless they have first learned to govern themselves. How can parents expect to subdue self-will in their little ones, if their own passions are allowed free reign, and not subject to the word of God? The character of parents is to a very large degree reproduced in their offspring:Good instruction is to be accompanied by good example. Hopefully this was the case in your childhood. That teaching which issues only from the lips is not at all likely to sink any deeper than the ears. Children are particularly quick to detect inconsistencies and to despise hypocrisy.BELOW WE LIST SOME OF THE MAIN THINGS GOD EXPECTED YOUR PARENTS TO INSTILL IN YOU.
1. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A WILL (A RIGHT TO CHOOSE). AS AN ADULT YOU WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE FOR YOURSELF. GOD EXPECTS YOUR PARENTS, BY WORD AND EXAMPLE, IN A LOVING ENVIRONMENT, TO HELP SHAPE YOUR WILL, (IN A POSITIVE WAY).
2. YOU NEED TO LEARN TO DEVELOP A REVERENCE/RESPECT FOR GOD, AS THE ONE WHO CREATED YOU, ANDTO RESPECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
3. YOU MUST LEARN TO USE SELF CONTROL, YOU MUST LEARN YOU CAN'T DO AND SAY ANYTHING YOU WANT, (IN A NEGATIVE WAY).
4. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU DEVELOP POSITIVE HABITS (AVOIDING DRUGS, CIGARETTES, SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, ETC, HELPS).
5. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING/NOT BEING LAZY.
6. YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS.DEVELOPING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS IN A FAIR, JUST, AND RESPECTFUL MANNER, IN THE SIGHT OF GOD AND MAN.
7. THROUGH CHASTISEMENT, VERBAL CORRECTIONS, AND OTHER CORRECTIVE MEASURES, YOU MUST LEARN THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES FOR NEGATIVE CONDUCT.
8. NO ONE HAS THE RIGHTS TO SEXUALLY, PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY ABUSE YOU.
9. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT YOU LEARN HOW TO HANDLE MONEY, HONORING GOD FIRST (IN OFFERINGS) PAYING ONE'S BILLS AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS
10. YOU MUST ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU DID NOT COME HERE TO STAY.AFTER YOU DIE YOU MUST ALL STAND BEFORE GOD TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR THE WAY WE HAVE LIVED THE LIFE HE GAVE US.