When our son, Troy, reached the age of twenty-one, he and I went to the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia for a day together. We hiked for awhile and then found a large rock to sit down where we could view the beautiful Shenandoah Valley from high up on the mountainside. Knowing we would be doing this, I wanted to have a man-to-man talk with him, sharing with him twenty-one principles that I thought would be helpful to him for the rest of his life.
Although some twenty-three years have passed since then, I am thrilled to say that he received the advice I gave him and whole-heartedly embraced the points as his own (just like I thought he would!).
I now offer these ideas to you. Perhaps you have children at home or in your church who could profit from these points. The truth of the matter is that there are also plenty of adults who never learned these points early in life who would profit from them even now!
Here they are without all the commentary I gave Troy on that mountain:
1. Remember: no one owes you
2. Always have the attitude of a servant—live for others.
3. Keep your heart fixed on Jesus Christ (Hebrews 12:2).
4. The Bible is the Word of God.
5. Don’t quit.
6. Fight your flesh—flee youthful lusts.
7. Be patient with people—love the unlovely.
8. Look at problems as opportunities for God to show Himself strong.
9. Trust God (Proverbs 3:5–6).
10. Live for God today, and there will be no regrets tomorrow—be faithful.
11. Wait for God’s choice for a wife.
12. Fear no man but God.
13. Never be afraid to admit you are wrong.
14. Never lie—especially to yourself.
15. Never negotiate convictions (Proverbs 1:10).
16. Be tolerant of the preferences of others.
17. Act like a leader—the way you sit, speak, and look (your personal habits).
18. Be quick to forgive.
19. Have an attitude of gratitude.
20. Have as your two highest goals: first, to glorify God; and second, world evangelism.
21. Make Christ your magnificent obsession.