My ultimate goal should be as Solomon said “Fear God and keep His commandments” because Solomon did all the world had to offer but still came to that conclusion. This I know.
But I still suffer with what people challenge me with on a daily basis. They tell me all the time that I am not living life because I am not taking out loans to go to school, not charging to take vacations, working two jobs to have the money to see the world, not drinking, not going to parties and taking chances, such as getting a mortgage that I truly know I can’t afford and many other things I hear all the time.
I have to agree that I haven’t done many of the things that most people my age have done and even younger and I have to admit these things have become and are quite depressing, making me desire to go out and do SOMETHING. I hate second judging myself. But I do desire to gain further understanding so that I don’t gain the world and loose my soul in the process. Thanks in advance for your wisdom guidance and understanding.
"By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward" (Hebrews 11:24-26).
Your friends are all pursuing temporary pleasures because their focus is on this world. Because they aren't certain of eternal life, they try get everything they can out of life now. The concept of waiting for something better is foreign to them. There is a marvelous experiment with children that illustrates this. A marshmallow is placed before a child. The child is told that if he waits until the research gets back, he will get two marshmallows. But if he can't wait, he can eat the one he has, but that is all he will get. Most young children will gobble the marshmallow down. Your friends know nothing but instant gratification.
Since most of the taunts revolve around financial decisions, I want you to listen to a few radio shows by a man named Dave Ramsey. I'm sure there are things Mr. Ramsey and I disagree about, but in regards to financial decisions I think he has found the proper scriptural theme. It won't take you long to realize that people who delay gratification are able to obtain better things later.
Now, this doesn't mean life has to be dull. The world is here to be enjoyed. But most of the ways people try to force enjoyment out of the world are through things that harm them. "Truly the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity. Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity" (Ecclesiastes 11:7-10). There are tons of ways to have fun without harm, so make sure you take time to enjoy life.
The truth is, I listen to Dave everyday when I am in the shower. It's motivational to hear of other people's stress and bad mistakes and also helps me to see that my struggles are not so bad after all. Also, reading tons of your articles helps out as well. I had a fellow brother in Christ tell me that it has a lot to do with those I fellowship with. I need to find new fellowship partners or have more of Chrisitians that I fellowship with than I do outside of the body, and I partly agree with him. Thanks a lot for your speedy reply and thought behind your lessons.
There is a reason why Paul warned, "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33). We tend to pick up the habits of those with whom we share life.
A good illustration of this is: "Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself" (Proverbs 22:24-25). Anger isn't the only bad habit picked up through association.
If you understand this, then think about whom you call "friend." Are you picking people who pull you toward better things or worse things?