In part one of this two-part article, we covered the first 6 truths that it is important for you to remember in your teen years. And now for the other 4!
7. Studying your Bible is the single most important thing you can do now and in the future.
You may think you are too busy now, what with work, school, church, friends, and family, to spend much time in the Word. But I would remind you that the Word is your lifeline. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
While school, job training, and continuing education classes can all be important and worthwhile pursuits, ultimately what you need most in order to accomplish the good works God has prepared for you, personally, to accomplish throughout your lifetime (see Ephesians 2:10), is to know the Word and be in it every chance you get.
8. Surrounding yourself with good and godly counsel is a must.
We live in an increasingly isolationist culture, and people are downright lonely. Don’t fall victim to this. Be an initiator of friendship, realizing that as the verse in Proverbs says, “He who would have friends must show himself friendly”. In other words, it is to be expected that you will need to initiate, reach out to others, and be a cultivator of friendship rather than always waiting for people to come to you.
Seek out mentors, seek to mentor others, search for those God has brought across your path that you could strike up an ever-deepening friendship with. This will serve you in countless ways for years to come. After all, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”
9. You will not regret working hard, but you might regret squandering the time you have been given.
As a teen, I wasted so much time. I watched too much TV, procrastinated on the important stuff, and truly just failed to redeem the time well. Don’t make my mistakes. Absolutely practice good self-care, don’t become a workaholic, and remember to have a life that is dedicated to serving others well, but don’t waste your time, either. Be diligent, be faithful, don’t give up, focus on your studies, be a good employee, and be relied upon as someone who does their best. You will never regret this, but you may well regret squandering these years in useless pursuits.
10. You need to still be lighthearted and have fun!
Being a teen can be incredibly stressful. You feel as if everything about your entire future must be planned out and figured out right now. But hear me when I say this: it doesn’t. Many adults change career paths years on down the road, God leads people to do different things at different times, and those are all good things! You have freedom to simply follow God step-by-step, doing the next right thing as it comes, rather than worrying about how one little school or job choice now might make or break you when you’re 50 years old. We serve a sovereign God with a big-picture perspective Who has you in the palm of His hand. You can (and should!) rest a bit!
Our God is a God of celebration, humor, joy, fun, and love. Follow in His footsteps, and enjoy being lighthearted and fun. Don’t make mountains out of molehills or waste away these special years of your life fretting about every little thing. Be responsible, sure, but live a little! Have fun! Make memories!
This has by no means been an exhaustive list, but hopefully these 10 truths will help you to be better equipped to navigate the waters ahead of the many voices you will face in this culture. Hold fast to God’s truths, and you will go far!