by Johnathan Arnold
Graduation is an exciting time for countless students across the country. But many cannot help feeling a bit disillusioned in the days and weeks that follow. The big question, What now? is not settled in everyone's mind. Some wonder, Who will I marry? Where will I live?
Even worse, advice given to graduates at many commencement ceremonies often feels cliché and unrealistic. Here are a few no-nonsense truths from God's Word that every graduate should keep at the forefront of their minds in the days that come.
Don't Fixate on Financial Security
It's expensive to live in this world. We want to have it all figured out. But when we live and die by our 5-year plan, we are missing the point of life. Don't buy the lie of the American Dream with its promise of a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and golden retriever. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25).
Don't Fixate on Marriage
If you don't have a spouse lined up, don't freak out. Young people should take advantage of their unmarried years to drive deep stakes, spend a considerable amount of time in God’s Word, and delve into the things of God before being encumbered with the cares of life. Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 are challenging: "I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord."
Fixate on God
Life will wait long enough for you to get your priorities straight. A seeker of God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness knows that everything else must come second. "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:33-34).
The hope, happiness, and security that you are looking for is available! But it's only available in God. If you seek your hope, happiness, and security in something else, you will only be more disillusioned than before. Isaiah 26:3-4 promises, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock."
Remember Your Commission
In Mark 16:15, Jesus gave us our ultimate job description: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." That means you. What are you going to do to reach others with the Good News about Jesus? Whatever path you pursue, keep a missional posture.
Remember Your Creator
Everyone says, "you have your whole life ahead of you," but life is shorter than you think. Ecclesiastes 12:1 is a warning: "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them.'" (The "evil days" are when you start getting old and it's too late to turn the ship around.) The decisions you make now will shape the rest of your short life. Will your life count for eternity? Sadly, most people don't care. Do you? "Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last" (C. T. Studd).
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