This is normally the time of year every high school, college, and grad student looks forward to; a commencement ceremony to celebrate and applaud their years of diligence and hard work. This year the activities may look a little different, but there are some things that remain the same. For example, following the graduation usually consists of more pondering the next steps in this phase of life, obtaining employment, or gaining a greater understanding of who they are and who they want to become. There is an overwhelming excitement mixed with a bit of fear and an abundance of caution.
Life is full of choices. In fact, you had to make a choice to even start reading this devotion! So, the issue is not the mere act of making choices itself, but rather learning how to make not just good choices or better choices, but the best choices. Please understand that you will make mistakes. None of us are perfect. The key is to gain wisdom and biblical insight from each stumbling block and turn it into a stepping stone to a greater future!
Biblical Lessons for Life
1. Always put God first.
"And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Mathew 22:37-40
Obtaining your degree and experiencing your independence in a whole new way can certainly give you an overrated boost of confidence. We should feel confident, but not solely in ourselves. We must remember to keep Jesus first. Pray consistently. Invite Him into all of your doings. Consider Him before making decisions. It is through Him that you can do all things!
2. Never stop learning.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
It is a welcomed opportunity to now take a break from textbooks and essays, but don’t stop studying His Word. Don’t stop pushing yourself to learn more about his world either. The more we meditate on scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us, the closer we become to Him. This is when we die to self and live in HIM! Fruits of the spirit will bloom and Christ-like character will emerge. This won’t happen if we become complacent in our studies.
3. Choose your company wisely.
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
In this next stage of life, new peers will show up wanting to pressure you with their perspectives and beliefs. Some people are born influencers and have a charm that will work its way into your mind. But you know what? If you are consistent with putting God first and continuing to study His Word, you’ll be in a better position to resist temptation and offer your own beliefs and perspective. The Holy Sprit within you will become the influencer. So, equip yourself, stay prayed up, and you will most certainly stand strong.
4. Plans and dreams inevitably change; God does not.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
Though many graduates won’t have a fully mapped out ten year plan, they will at least have an idea of what the next few years will hold for them. High school graduates may already have a college major in mind. College graduates will likely have a job lined up and be read to start their career. Unfortunately, we never know how life will unfold and when we will hit bumps in the road. Sometimes, we’ve caused the bumps and made decisions we later disagree with. College majors are just one example. Every year more than 80% of students change their major. Even more surprising is that only 27% of college graduates are working in their field after two years.
None of this surprises our Father. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. The more we get to know Him, the more He teaches us about ourselves. Abide in Him. The rest is just a journey to your best self.
Dear God, thank You for the wisdom You give in Your Word. Help me make the best decisions, based on Your ways today and always. Amen.
When you are faced with a choice to make, start praying over your options—right now. Do a study on biblical verses about our “future”.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The more we get to know Him, the more He teaches us about ourselves. Abide in Him. The rest is just a journey to your best self.