What I know now that I wish I knew when I was 20
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." Proverbs 4:7
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
Have you ever said to yourself, “If I only knew then what I know now?” I imagine everyone has at one time or another.
Recently the ministerial staff was asked to shar
e some of those thoughts with the college ministry at our church. As I thought through those things I also thought I would share them with you and invite you to share your thoughts with others.
Here is my list. Just about all of them are based on Scripture, the wisdom from above.
That committing my adult life to the Lord when I was in my 20s would have saved me from much grief, sorrow, failure and regret that I wasted so much of my best years in foolish self-indulgence. (Though I grew up in church and in a Godly home, I was in my heart born again at 30 something.)
That as a Christian tithing and giving to the poor are fundamental to not having less because I gave, but having more than enough to do the things that please God and still have more than enough left over. That tithing and giving to the poor are best done in the context of regular church attendance and service to the body of Christ.
That starting to save for the future when you’re young is wise, really wise. Postponing gratification and delaying some fun that would require wasting resources means, when I got into my 30s and 40s I would still be able to enjoy life but in a much greater way with a lot less stress. That I could retire younger if I sacrificed and laid aside for the future early.
That eating healthily and exercising regularly are smart at every age especially when you’re young and when you get older.
That hasty investments rarely fulfill what they promise and a more conservative approach is wiser. Fair warning: If it sounds too good to be true, IT IS!!!!!! Run from it as quickly as you can.
Because I abandoned some of the life values my parents taught me when I went to college, only to return to them nearly 12 years later, meant I lost the benefit of good and life enriching opportunities that I could have enjoyed during those years and could be enjoying the fruit of now, but they are to me sadly lost forever because I didn’t choose wisely.
That living daily on a regular schedule of work, exercise (recreation) and rest (sleep) is healthier in the long run than living 24/7 in intense activity without rest and even less sleep.
That truth is only found in God, all others are subject to critical evaluation.
That true friends and family are to be valued before acquaintances and professional colleagues.
That saying, “I’m sorry,” quickly strengthens relationships and saves a lot of time and dispels stresses.
That I am not invincible, but I can be fearless and courageous because God is with me (There were too many times I didn’t pursue my goals as vigorously as I should have because someone influenced me to think that my effort would be futile, so I would stop trying…dumb choice)
That God never fails to keep His word, so I don’t have to worry. I could just pray and leave it alone for Him to take care of it. (I did a lot of worrying when I was younger. I was anxious for nearly everything)
That I should not let the opinions of other people steal, delay or diminish my dreams.
What do you wish you knew then that you know now?
Ultimately, wherever we are now in Christ is right where we need to be with all the knowledge and wisdom that we need available to us for the asking.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5