Question:

How should a Christian go about getting the things in their life in order? I know the entire counsel of God deals with the things of life, but I need a basic starting point. I am 25 years old, have my own car, live in my own place, and have a job that allows me to do so, all thanks to God. I am getting no younger, and even though I have a lot to be thankful for, I realize there is still so much that I desire to do and accomplish in my little life.

But there is a problem. I just canít seem to find the balance between doing the things that I know that should be done and the things that I simply just want to do of my own desire to enjoy life while I have it. I know as a Christian I should not have this mindset, but I find that a lot of times in my life I feel pushed into a corner and anytime I feel like that, my worldly instincts kick in, my defense mechanism goes off, and the understanding God has taught me through His word get temporarily tossed to the side and I rely on my carnal mindset -- survival and feeling the least amount of pain becomes more important to me in those moments.

If I want something bad enough, I will set out to †get it. If an obstacle comes in my way, I feel like I need to tear it out of the way by force or by any means necessary; yet, I am not in control. I hate feeling like I donít have enough power to make the things I want to happen, happen in all areas of my life.

Sometimes I feel like Iím being oppressed by the heaviness of the responsibility that I have to own up to as a young man at my age. †Iím beginning to wonder if life was ever supposed to be so stressful? Or is it just me? My own desires may not always line up with Godís at all times. But all I know is, †I just want to be happily successful in life.

I have a baby sister. God forbid if anything were to happen to our parents; she will need to have a successful big brother to fall back on. At the current moment, I am not that person in regards to finances. I am still growing.

One of the things I prayed about and Iím in the process of setting out to accomplish is starting my own company. The events have already been set in motion, and I know God is helping me accomplish this goal. However, I strongly believe that if I am to maintain being successful in my business affairs and in life, then that success should come from the Lord. He is the only one through whom I can find the strength, confidence, and wisdom to manage all the responsibility headed my way and the only one that will allow me to maintain my success. It is too much for me to manage on my own, and I need His council to be on my side or I will not have success that endures.

What are some scriptures or any books in the Bible do you recommend I go through to get the proper understanding that I may apply the teaching in this area of my life? I am already in the process of working out my salvation in other areas. Thank you. God bless.


Answer:

It sounds to me that you've reached adulthood. Sure, you've been in a man-size body for a while, but it takes several more years for the mind to finish rewiring for an adult way of thinking. You've reached that threshhold and it feels like you are at the top of a huge ski slope about to plunge down.

There are tons of things every person would like to do before leaving this world, but the practical fact is that we don't have enough time. You think it is bad at the beginning. I'm looking at life saying, if I'm fortunate I might have 20 or 25 more productive years left and there are still lots of things I would like to do.

If you haven't done so recently, I want you to go through the book of Proverbs. This is the book written to young men to advise them how to live life. Read just one chapter a day and do so with a notepad beside you. As you read, jot down the thoughts that come to mind and any questions you might have. I guarantee that at the end of the month you will have learned a ton of things that you never realized before. I do this periodically and every time I find points that I missed before -- but that is the way this book was designed.

However you lay out your life, make sure that it isn't all consumed by one thing. Put the Lord first (Matthew 6:33), put good effort in your job, and then also plan on time that just for fun. Even the Israelites were "forced" to take one day per week off to do no labor. Time to relax is your recharging time so you can work more productively.

Finally, don't borrow troubles from the future. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34). Thus, don't worry about whether you can raise your little sister if something happens to your parents. You know you will step up to the challenge if the situation ever arose, but it hasn't happened, so you can't plan for it. Generally we imagine things as worse than they turn out to actually be. You will be amazed how problems manage to work themselves as you face them.

Hmm, I remember an elder at my congregation telling me to look in a certain chapter of Proverbs (I forget which one) and consider the character of the woman described therein when deciding on what type of female I want to choose as a wife. I took a quick look at the chapter, but since then I never went through the book again. I never knew the book of Proverbs deals with these matters mainly. Iíve been missing out. Definitely I need to get this knowledge in my life and put it to use. I will go through a chapter a day, as advised and see what I pull out of each sitting. Thanks again for the solid advice.