Life

How To Take Advantage Of Your Youth

This article was originally published in Brave Mag on August 17th, 2015. Visit bravemag.com to view more articles by J Dolores Perry.

You work like a slave for an entry level salary.
You’re buried up to your eyeballs in student loan debt.
You share your apartment with roommates who don’t understand the meaning of the words ‘hygiene’ or ‘personal space.’
You’re so overwhelmed with life that God is no longer a priority.

Being young and free isn’t as easy as you thought it would be.

You may not be living the dream, but the truth is that you have a lot more going for you than you realize.

Our twenties are a time for growth.

These are the years when we should take the infinitesimally small amounts of money, power, and opportunity we’ve been given and multiply them. These are the years that can teach us the most about our potential – the years in which we can best learn from failure and achieve even more with success.

What many of us choose to do instead is to bury our heads in the sand (or in our office cubicles) and bide our time while hoping that a better job, relationship, or life will find us while we’re waiting.

We abandon the advantages of our youth for the comfort and safety of doing nothing.

If we want to be faithful stewards over our lives, then we have to be willing to take action; nowhere in the bible is this clearer than in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus told His disciples about a man who left each of his servants with bags of gold to watch over while he went on a journey. The servant who received five bags of gold invested his master’s wealth and doubled what he had been given, and the servant who received two bags of gold did the same. The servant who had been given only one bag of gold (the one who ultimately had the least to lose and the most to gain) dug a hole in the ground and hid the money there until his master returned.

For many of us these years are the first time that we’ve had real responsibility, where our financial, social, and romantic choices have the power to shape the rest of our lives. It’s scary to have to build your future from the ground up with fewer resources than those who are older than you, but God doesn’t want you to focus on your fear.

God is using your position to test your faith. He expects you to take the opportunities you have been given and grow – both for yourself and for His kingdom. He wants you to be a good steward of the blessings He has placed in your life so that you can be a blessing to others. This isn’t the time to let fear overwhelm you; this is the time to take risks and watch them pay off.

You may have fewer resources than some, but you also have far less to lose.

One day, when you have a house to pay off, a spouse to satisfy, and small mouths to feed, you won’t necessarily have the opportunity to travel on a whim, switch career paths, or sacrifice your financial position for the sake of your ministry. Making the hard choices now will place you on a path to personal and spiritual success for the rest of your life.

Do you hate your job? Then find a career you can be passionate about.
Is money an issue? Establish a financial plan so that your bills will no longer be a burden.
Are the people in your life preventing you from moving forward? Find and develop relationships with men and women who will support you in your journey and help you become who God is calling you to be.

Don’t give up on the rest of your life by settling for what you have now. Your best years are ahead of you and you have the tools to make them meaningful.

Stop hiding your potential and start using it to build your future!

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