3 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was In My Teens and 20s


Pastor Derwin Gray shares the three things he wishes he would have known when he was in his teens and twenties.

I wouldn’t rush or wish my life away.

  • When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted to be a senior. 
  • When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to be senior. 
  • When I was a rookie in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts, I wanted to be a 10-year NFL veteran. 

True life, a life worth living, is being present in every circumstance. Like the singer, Junior, said in a popular 1980s song, “Momma used to say, ‘Take your time young man, don’t rush to get old. Live your life.’ ”

I wouldn’t be so arrogant.

  • I was clueless about life! And I was clueless about that too! 
  • God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. Shut up and listen. 
  • As a great football player, I felt entitled. And I was narcissistic. 

God loves us so much, He will orchestrate life in such a way that the arrogance will get beat out of us by people, circumstances, and pain. Thank you, Jesus, for beating that arrogance out of me.

I would’ve appreciated people more. 

  • In my teens and early 20s, I saw people for what they could do for me. 
  • I conditionally appreciated people. “If you do this for me, I will do that for you.” 

I saw people as a way to reach my goals. I used them and they used me. By God’s grace, I now see people as valuable because Jesus died for them. They are valuable to Him; therefore, they are valuable to me. Now, I exist to train and inspire people to glorify God by coaching (pastoring) them to release their God-given potential in this world.


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