Do you ever stop and think in terms of what you will be like in 10, 20, 30 or more years? Obviously none of us stay young forever. Time stands still for no one; not even you. And if God’s Will says that you are to be given many more years, then it is very important that you consider the type of person you are going to be. We all develop – spiritually, physically, emotionally, educationally, and in so many other ways. But what will the end product be? That is a rather significant question, and one well worth considering.
Years from now you may be surrounded by all kinds of friends – a person who has grown old graciously, a man or woman who is both respected and loved by fellow saints in the church, a person whom others like to be around, and a person who lives the Christian life of loving his neighbor to the fullest.
Or, you may be a very bitter person, one who never has a good word for anyone; and therefore is friendless and alone, a person who thinks only in terms of himself and what he wants, a person who has little, if any, time for others in the church or for any extra church activities.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, why stop and consider all this now? After all, being young, you have years and years ahead of you when these details can be worked out. That, however, is not true. The reason I stop and consider these details with you today is that the person you turn out to be 10, 20, 30 or more years from now depends on you and what you do today. You simply cannot live today as if it has no impact on your future. Remember, the Bible says in Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” To be quite blunt about all this, the life you lead today will to a great extent determine the life you face in the years ahead. The man or woman you meet down the road someday will be a composite of everything you do, say, and think over the course of the years you spend going down that road.
That is why these years of your life are so very important. You are not only making some of life’s great decisions, you are also laying the very ground work for what that man or woman will be like down the road.
Every little thought, every little deed goes into the making of this person. You will be exactly what you make that person to be; nothing more, nothing less. You will have no one else to credit or blame.
Just remember that every day you are becoming more and more like yourself. Perhaps you may find yourself wishing that you could be more like someone else. But the truth is that each day you develop and become more and more like the person that God has determined you should be.
But this does not wipe out any of our own responsibility. If you choose to live only in terms of yourself, you will invariably find your world getting smaller and smaller. If you only consider things from the viewpoint of what can I get out of it, you will find that person you meet down the road getting harder, drier, crabbier, and more self-centered.
If, on the other hand, you live your life with others in mind, if you think in terms of what you can give to others, you will find that person you meet down the road getting softer, kinder, and less self-centered.
One very important point to remember in all of this is that these things don’t always show immediately, but they will show up at some time and usually sooner than you think. Don’t let your youth be your excuse with regard to these important decisions. It is so easy to simply dismiss all of these choices and say, “I’ll take care of them later.” It may seem to you that you have plenty of time in the years ahead to decide these things, that the years of your youth are no time to do it. But don’t fool yourself, for these things are adding up inside where you cannot see them. And they are shaping and forming your heart and mind. Some day you will discover that you have hardened into a person that will be unable to change from the course you set for yourself when you were young.
That is why the time to take care of these important decisions in your life is now; this week, today. Sit down and examine your attitudes, motives, and goals. Check up on yourself. The time to work is now while you are still in a formative condition. The day will come awfully soon when it is too late. The hardness will have set in.
What we are really stressing in all of this is that it is important for all of us to regularly take personal inventory. Never mind what you would like to change about your neighbor. Look at yourself. What about change in your life? If we seriously look at our lives and all the hopes and dreams that we have in light of God’s Word, we cannot go wrong. And the person we meet down the road 10, 20, 30 or more years from now will be a person we would like to both meet and be.