“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” Daniel 1:17
There is a tension between being young at heart and mature in mind. It is a good tension that need not be dismissed, because youth has its advantages: energy, excitement and unbridled expectations. The look in the eye of a young adult longs for more very quickly. They dream of a time one day soon; when their contribution to culture makes its significant mark with everlasting consequences.
I remember this idealism, as my heart still vacillates between youthful exuberance and middle age prudence. The older I get the less of a risk taker I become, because there is more to lose, so I don’t want to throw caution to the wind, nor do I want to ignore fresh faith. It is a young heart I long for, one of total trust in the Lord, and one of unspoiled optimism anchored in the Word. The Bible exhorts young people in this way,
“I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).
In our middle to later years we are tempted to dismiss youthful trust along with youthful lust, so don’t miss these moments to mingle with your Master Jesus. It is a youthful heart that yearns for more time with the One that loves them most. In your days of graying hair lay bare to the Lord your big dreams yet unfulfilled, and the daunting mountains still left to climb for Christ.
Wisely submit to your maturing mind by slowing down to be more selective and strategic with your time and resources. Determine you will serve others more and self less, by leveraging your life for the Lord’s sake. Stay young at heart and you will influence young minds with conviction in Christ.
“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth” (Psalm 71:5).
Moreover, you remain young at heart by being with young hearts. You go where they go: coffee shops, rock climbing, museums and mission trips. You listen to what they listen to: artists, entertainers, politicians and preachers. You read what they read: blogs, books and websites. Embrace youth where they live, and you will earn the right to influence how they live. Your transparency about your own troubles and struggles garners their respect and makes you approachable. The blessing is you become like the ones you mentor; because influencers are influenced by the ones they influence. So the secret to being young at heart is being with the young at heart. Be with and pray for young hearts.
The Bible says, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NKJV).
Question: Which young leader can I influence and be influenced by, who craves intimacy with Christ and growth in their character?
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