• Overcoming The Challenges Of Youthful Life

    God has a very good and glorious destiny for you as a young person. His plan is that you may prosper and have a future. 

    The realization of that destiny however is determined by two things: what you have identified as a thing you must flee from and what you are passionate to pursue in life. The choice is always yours. 

    The Bible, the book of your destiny presents an inexhaustible list of what you should flee from and what you should pursue as a young person.

    Overcoming The Challenges Of Youthful Life
    2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (NKJ).

    “Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure” (CEV).

    Your pursuit in life is very important. Your pursuit determines the amount of time and energy you will dispense at every point in time. Your pursuit definitely saps your energy either negatively or positively. Youthful time is a time to make good and godly choices because they have direct consequences on how the future would look like.

    There are things peculiar to youthful time. King Solomon of Israel said:


    “The glory of young men is their strength but the pride of old men is their gray hair”

    Because of the peculiarity of your time, you have a lot of challenges to cope with.

    Let me go straight to the point. You have monsters to contend with as a young man. There are “things” around you that will always crave your attention. There are appetites in you that will always cry for satisfaction mostly at the wrong time. I encourage you to say NO to them (see Titus 2:11). 

    These are things that will sap the energy of your youth and later waste your years on earth.
    Overcoming The Challenges Of Youthful Life
    DEFINITIONS

    Let us consider our text again. The Bible says:

    “Flee also youthful lusts…” “Run from temptations that capture young men…”

    The two keywords are “Flee” and “Lust”
    To flee means to disappear very quickly. It suggests a situation where danger is imminent. The same definition goes for “Run.” When you are asked to flee from something; it leaves no room for asking question or argument.

    Lust is simply a wrongly placed desire or an appetite satisfied in a wrong way. In other words, lust is energy wrongly channeled. In a general sense, lust is a great eagerness or enthusiasm for something. But in a particular sense, it means spurious sexual desire. That is, the strong physical desire to have sex with somebody, usually without associated feelings of love or affection.

    PERCULIAR NATURE OF YOUTH:

    Energetic:
    They are lively generation!
    Under normal circumstances, every young adult is very strong physically, emotionally, and sexually. The normal thing for them is to look for what to engage this strength in unless there is somebody to guide them appropriately. 

    Some invest this strength in sexual immoralities while others utilize theirs in street gangsterism. 

    The reason for several misdemeanors among the youths is simply because of the unguided utilization of youthful strength. Because of this energetic disposition therefore, every young adult has the tendency to be rash in every life issue.
    Inquisitive: They are a searching generation!
    They want answer for everything. They always seek to understand themselves, the world they live in and particularly their role therein. They reject every attempt to be treated as robot. That is why they question everyone and everything that comes their way.
    Adventurous: They are courageous generation!
    They are always interested in trying new things. They are never satisfied with yesterday’s report. They believe that each day comes with new challenge and they love to be the first partaker of it. Every young adult is a potential risk taker.
    Self-confident: They are optimistic generation!
    They believe in their abilities to do all things by themselves. They only believe in you as long as you have interest in what is their interest. This makes them to appear boastful and abusive to adults sometimes.
    Freedom: They are unbridled generation!
    Most young ones don’t love interference. They cherish freedom and rebel out rightly with whatever or whoever wants to cage them. Even within the church they desire freedom and where this is not made possible they look elsewhere.

    THE CHALLENGES OF YOUTHFUL LIFE:
    What then are the youthful lusts? What are those things that always look appealing to a young man but that are very destructive? A critical survey of our environment provides immediate answers. I will like to quickly share few of these things with you, namely:

    1. The challenge of Pornography and sexual addiction:
    Pornography is any depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures, music or writings) intended to cause sexual excitement. It all begins with a thought. And remember “a little seed of bad thought will turn to a bad action which in turn will lead to a bad habit. When bad is consistently indulged, then a bad character is formed”

    Unfortunately, pornography has turned out to be a big business in our days. It has found an easy way into our homes through the internet and mass media. Various advertisements and music industries have no other intention other than to expose young people into the world of sexual excitement. This is one of the lusts God warns the youth to flee from.

    2. The Challenge of Drug Addiction:Another monstrous appetite of the 21st century is drug. The rate at which young people abuse drug is becoming alarming. How adolescents’ use of drugs turn into addiction isn’t a mystery, because progression of drug use follows a fairly predictable pattern. It starts from taking little alcohol to tobacco smoking. Before long they open the gate to stronger ones like marijuana and cocaine.

    3. The Challenge of Mass Media:
    Contemporary youth culture is media driven. Thousand of images of immorality that are being acted out in movies, videos, cables have brought several young ones under some negative influences and have seared their consciences. Worst of all is the perverted use of the internet facilities where they get incessantly exposed to all kind of evils. What you get from all these means are sordid reflections that run contrary to Christian values.

    4. The Challenge of Materialism:
    Our generation is characterized with materialism. Whereas Jesus said “The life of a man does not depend on the abundance of things he possesses”, the pursuit of every young man of our time is how to amass wealth unto himself. The expectation of God is that kingdom minded youths will focus on the kingdom and its righteousness instead of the mundane things that perish with the world.

    WHY DO YOU SAY YES?


    The question that bothers one’s mind is why do young ones get involved in these things? Some of the reasons could be:
    Peer Approval and acceptance: Do you say YES so that you can “belong?”
    Experimentation: Do you say YES just to satisfy your curiosity?
    Media Pressure: Do you say YES because of the influence of a TV star?
    Feelings of being abandoned: Do you say YES because you feel you are lonely?

    OVERCOMING THESE CHALLENGES


    There is the need for you to consciously and carefully say NO when you are confronted with these choices.  But how can one actually live victoriously over these challenges? The Bible presents the answers:

    1. Flee: This suggests self-control. You have got to discipline your sight and your ears. These are the gateways to your mind. Whatever is stored up in your mind is definitely channelled by it. But the Spirit of God can grant you the grace to say NO to whatever may be disastrous to your destiny (Read Titus 2:11; 2 Timothy. 1:7)

    2. Pursue. Always go for whatever is right. Pursue faith, love and peace (Read Galatians 6:7)

    3. Be careful of your association. Move with people who call on God out of a pure heart. Evil company does not only corrupt good manners, but it also destroys good destiny. Be careful of your company (Read Psalm 1)

    4. The need for a Transformed Mind (Col 3: 16; Psalm 119; 9, 11,105):

    Young ones ask yourself these questions: What are some of your biggest influences? Do you find it easy to change the way you think? Normally the way one thinks is a major part of one's makeup. It affects the emotion, actions, heart, and soul. All these go a long way to determine the very essence of who a person is. 

    For this reason, we must ensure that the lives of our young ones are based on the truth. 

    Fortunately, there is absolute truth, and it can be found and defined in the Bible. A lot of young ones have been influenced by so many lies.

    Youthful time is divinely arranged by God to be a useful time. 

    You must ensure it does not become a wasteful time. The divine injunction to the young is to remember their creator while they are still young. When this becomes your preoccupation then you are set to overcome the battle that confronts the young. 

    With this, what Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:14 becomes a reality in your life!

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