Five Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 21
If you had the chance, would you like to be 21 years old again? I think I’d pass, but there are a handful of things I wish I had known back then that I have listed below. Maybe a few will resonate with you.
Don’t stumble over something behind you.
It’s not always easy, but it’s important to leave the past in the past because focusing on what’s behind you is a hindrance to experiencing what God has for you in the present and the future.
I love what Os Hillman says, “Our past should only be viewed for what we can learn from it. Many people have allowed their past to dictate their future.” It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you spend too much time thinking about what happened yesterday, last week, last month, or last year, take Isaiah 43:19 to heart, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
Serving is better than being served.
I love the saying, “The tallest person in the room is the person who stoops the lowest.” Over the years I have learned that there is no higher calling than serving. Matthew 20:26-28 echoes this sentiment, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Have an attitude of gratitude.
One of the most important things anyone can do to glorify God is to have a grateful heart. Not only that, but practicing gratitude draws you closer to Him. I wish I had learned early in life to always practice an attitude of gratitude for what He’s given, what He’s done, and what He’s going to do.
It’s more blessed to give than receive.
When I was 21, I wish I had known that you cannot out give God. With every paycheck, I encourage you to invest in God’s kingdom. Give to God first, save second, and live on the rest.
Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
The old phrase, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is simply not true! The words you use with your spouse matter; the words you say to your children have impact; the words you speak to your parents are life altering.
Words can be like cold water, refreshing to the soul. Or, words can be like scalding hot water that scars. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Don’t forget that you have the power to speak life—or death—over those around you. Have you seen someone’s spirit open because you spoke words of life to them, or have you crushed and closed their spirit through negative, critical words?
What things has God taught you since you were 21 years old that you can share with our readers? We’d love to hear your comments!