Very often, I will have conversations with some of my friends about the deeper issues of life. For instance, I tend to think a lot about the future or the impact that I want to have on those that I come into contact with.
This often means that I think rather critically and don’t just accept things as face value. Just because one thing is the norm for someone else, doesn’t meant that God wants that to be the norm for me! It should be the same for you too. It’s so important, in my opinion, to sit down and review what you are doing in life and why you are doing it. I also think it is crucial to consider the fruit that you are producing as well.
So, I decided that for this post, I am going to talk about 5 things that I have learnt now that I’m 25! For those who are older, it may be things that you can resonate with and for those who are younger, I hope it is something that can help you as you embark on the journey that is your twenties.
Gifts and talents
This list is in no particular order, but I would say that your 20s is really a time to come to an understanding of the gifts and talents that God has placed within you. He has given you those gifts so that you can use them for His glory. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents. He talks about men who were given different talents: one man had 1, one had two and another had five. The one who had two talents made two more. The one who had five talents made five more. However, the one who had one talent buried it and just gave the Master back the original talent (with no surplus).
One thing that I have learnt, through the help of the Parable Jesus told, is that it is so important to utilise and nourish the skills that God has given you. You should look at the gifts you have and, with the help of God, strengthen them so that they multiply into other areas. Yes, sometimes it can be tiring trying to utilise all of the skills that you have been given – especially if you are like me and there are so many things you love to do – but if you PRAY about it, God will show you how to make use of what He has given to you.
Not being afraid to say no
My, my, my… THIS has been something that I had to learn. There is nothing wrong with saying no if you cannot do something or if you do not want to do something. Listen to me carefully as I repeat those words, there is NOTHING wrong with saying no if you cannot do something. In my early twenties, I would often say yes to everything because I didn’t want to let people down or want them to think that I was incapable. But saying yes for those reasons only brings light to the fact that you’re trying to please people. We do not live for man. We live for Christ.
The wisest thing to do is pray about it and ensure that the “no” you’re saying is coming from a genuine place and not from laziness. I had to check myself for that too. If you say no, it really isn’t the end of the world. If you need to rest because you are tired and exhausted then say no and get some rest. God rested on the seventh day after He created the world and everything in it. I literally cannot stress this point enough, but never be afraid to say no and have confidence in saying no. Just as much confidence as when you say yes. The word “no” has so many negative connotations attached to it but we need to realise that “no” doesn’t mean you don’t love the person, it doesn’t mean you’re being hateful, it just means you’re unavailable to give your best to what you’re being asked to do.
Trusting God with everything
Okay, this has to be number one for me. There are things that I have been through in my twenties that have got me to the place where I just hand everything over to God. Life is literally so much different when you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV) states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Our own understanding is not enough to get us through this life in the way that God wants us to. We have to trust in Him, seek Him and allow Him to direct our paths. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times where I do my own thing and then I’m like “oh yeah…” But it’s so important to hand everything over to God and trust His guidance because He wants the best for you and He literally knows what the future holds! After all, He is the author of time!
A wedding isn’t everything
Can I just scream this from the rooftops?! Marriage is a BEAUTIFUL, STUNNING gift from God and I love, love! I absolutely love engagements, I love attending weddings, I love looking at wedding dresses and I love hearing about all the arrangements of people who are planning a wedding. BUT I feel as though the wedding has been put on this pedestal, along with the institution of marriage, to make it seem as though if you’re not there yet then something must be wrong. I was quite fortunate because during my early 20s I really didn’t mind singleness – to the point that I thought something was wrong with me as everyone else was craving a wedding – I wanted God to work on me.
Singleness is a gift! Marriage is a gift! Do you see the pattern here? They are both special and they are both precious to God. You are not worth any less if you are not yet married, and you are not worth any more just because you have a spouse. God doesn’t rank us based on the glistening diamonds on our left hands. He is more concerned with us accepting Jesus as our Lord & Saviour and accepting the gift of salvation, He is more concerned with the condition of our hearts and whether we are earnestly seeking after Him. Please, please, please do not waste your twenties moping around because you’re not in a relationship or not married by a certain age – God has got you! When God wants you to be married, He will bring it to fruition! After all, God created the institution of marriage. I’m not saying to sit down and do nothing while you wait, no no. Go out, meet people, put yourself out there… but don’t idolise the wedding.
Confidence is key
My final point is confidence. This is something that I had to relearn in my twenties – at a time when most people (or so it felt) had mastered the art of walking confidently. Or at least, that’s how it was portrayed on social media.
I’ve finally realised that you have a choice to be confident or not. You have a choice to recognise that you are beautiful. You have a choice to walk in your purpose. You have a choice to hold your head high and speak with authority. We literally have a choice and all we have to do is make the decision to be confident – and be patient enough to watch yourself master it.
I also found that having a better understating of what it means for me to be a child of God helped with my confidence. Reading scripture and spending time with our Heavenly Father makes it so much easier to walk through life knowing that you can be confident because you have a relationship with the Creator of the universe. The Holy Spirit dwells within you, Jesus Christ died and rose again for you… there is no way you can’t be confident.
So there you have it, five things I’ve learnt so far in my 20s!