What I’ve Learned in 21 Years of Life

On August 8, 1994, a chubby odd-looking baby was born. That baby was me. Since the day of my birth, I have learned a lot of lessons. I have learned that wiener dogs are cute, spicy food grows on you, Chuck Norris jokes are hilarious, 5+5=10, and the average person spends two weeks of their lifetime waiting for the light to change from red to green. Okay, maybe I found that last one on Google, but all jokes aside, I would like to share with you a lesson I have learned that has changed my life: We NEVER stop growing.

During my first year of Bible College, I looked up to the upperclassmen. As I got to know many of them, I couldn’t believe how “together” they were. It seemed like they had their lives together, figured out how to overcome all sin, had an answer for every question and had faith that could move mountains. As an 18 year old freshman, I kept thinking “Once I am their age (21) I will have it all figured out.” I hate to say it, but I am finally 21 and realize now more than ever that I don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I realize how much I don’t have it all figured out.

Many times we look at people who are older and we tell ourselves “Once I reach their age, I will have it all together like them.” When we think like this we believe two lies: Some people have it all figured out and if we work hard enough, we too can have it all figured out. The problem with this type of thinking is it assumes that we have the ability to know all the right answers, have everything under control and ultimately be perfect. This type of thinking will exhaust you because you will NEVER have it all together. You can’t grasp perfection because all you can reach is imperfection. When striving for perfection every imperfection you see within you will derail you emotionally, spiritually and even physically. In a world where it’s normal to see perfection as something attainable, how do we live life as imperfect people?

We must realize we are imperfect and will never have it all together or know all the answers. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Notice this verse doesn’t say that once we surrender our lives to Christ, we make a 180-degree turn and become perfect like Him. Rather, it says that we are being transformed into His image one degree at a time. I wish I could say that we grow in the blink of an eye, but the truth is that growth takes a lifetime. Within our lives, we will never reach a point where we are full-grown and have it all together. Realize that life is a journey of continual growth; the moment when you think you know it all is the moment you need to pump the breaks and evaluate your heart. Let’s live our lives understanding that we are all growing, and that this journey of growth happens in the context of community, grace and humility.

We will NEVER be full grown, but we will ALWAYS be growing.

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