The world may say, “Teenage time for pleasure, middle age for job/business, old age for religion.” However, the Bible says, “Teenage, middle age, and old age – everything for God the Creator.” Teenage time is a tumultuous time, and that is the time when anyone is most tempted to forget God and His ways. The Bible exhorts us to remember God during the youthful days itself. Eccl. 12:1 says, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.”” Solomon did not say, “Enjoy while you are young, and later on you will have the opportunity to serve and glorify God.” No, he said just the opposite. He tells young people, “Now is the time to focus on your relationship with God, the Creator of all things.”
The ways of the world in which we live completely contradict the precepts found in God’s Word. Paul the apostle does not tell Timothy that since he is young, he can live a wild lifestyle when young and that he can live for God when he is of age. He does not say that when he is young, he can give the older generation a reason or an excuse for the way he is living and acting. Instead, Paul says in 1 Tim. 4:12, “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.” This is the Bible’s charge to youngsters.
Could there be some reasons why we ought to remember God in the days of our youth? A few need to be mentioned:
1. Active years
The young years are the most active years of our life. Why should we wait until we are old, when our senses are dulled, and when our minds are not so sharp to serve our Creator? The God who made us deserves the best of us. The youthful years are our most healthy and active years when our bodies are strong, our minds are sharp and clear, our senses are keen and receptive, our wills are determined, and our zeal is bright and strong. It is wise to know God and remember Him in our active years.
2. Receptive years
Youthful years are sensitive years. It is easier to repent and believe when we are younger than when we are old. It is not easy, but it is easier. As we get older, our hearts become hardened, our sins are rooted deep, and our deadness becomes deader. This is why most people become Christians in their youth than in the middle or old age. Let us remember our Creator in our youthful days before the callousness of old age sets in.
3. Trainable years
The youthful years are the best years to learn anything in life and that includes religious instruction (studying the Bible). When we are young, our brains are more tuned to study and absorb things faster when compared to old age. Studying anything in the old age requires harder work compared to the young years.
4. Dangerous years
Youthful years are exciting but dangerous too. Peer pressure, hormone rush, pornography, immorality, alcohol, drugs, etc. surround today’s youth. There are dangers on every side of the road we travel. To go through these years without falling in sin and failure requires God’s grace and strength. The only condition is that we need to seek Him actively in our youthful years.
Some practical tips:
- Study His Word daily. It is good to take help from balanced sermons, commentaries and good Biblical books. Check everything with Scripture.
- Study the created world using microscopes, telescopes, and whatever instrument you have. The created order ultimately points to the Great Creator.
- Ask for His salvation. Rejection of God may have broken you, but He is willing to recreate you and make you what you ought to be in His plan.
- Join a Bible-based church where you get to know Him more through the Word, worship Him, and have fellowship with His children.
- Have friendship with godly and wise people. It is good to take advice and counsel from such people. The Bible says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Prov. 13:20). Again, Prov. 11:14 says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
- Ask for His strength and grace daily as you go about in life.
Remember that God made you, that He provides for you, that He cares for you, that He watches you, that He controls you; and remember that He can save you too. That is a lot to remember, but it is much easier to start learning when we are young!