Just Graduated? Now What to Do? Part 2

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Since it is now December, and another new year is almost upon us, this is a good time to re-evaluate the priorities in your life. See my previous article, as I talked about the first two priorities listed below. Today we will add another priority as we talk about the importance of how to Keep Your Heart With All Diligence. Remember you will also read the wisdom from others that I interviewed (see the bold colored quotes below).

PRIORITIES:

  1. Cultivate a Real Relationship with Christ.
  2. Surround Yourself with Godly Friendships.
  3. Keep Your Heart With All Diligence.

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PRIORITY #3:

Keep Your Heart With All Diligence

You must seek to Keep Your Heart With All Diligence. The pleasures of this world are very alluring and can easily distract you. Satan, God’s enemy, knows that he can steal your heart away from God, causing not only sin in your life, but also destroying your testimony and stunting your growth as a Christian.

1 John 2:15-16 says, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Watch out for the culture of the world. I never realized how affected I was by the world’s thinking in regards to the attitudes about moms, wives and a career. It affected me more than I realized.”

You should be careful first with WHAT YOU SEE. What kind of things are you looking at on a daily basis? Is the pure word of God first on your mind when you wake up in the morning, or is your phone the first thing you pick up filled with the current social media trend, where darts of discontentment, lust and commercialism are thrown at you?  What about what you read? Are the topics you read about pleasing to the Lord? Would you be comfortable looking at them with the Lord at your side? What about the websites you visit or the movies you watch or the places of entertainment you visit? You MUST guard your eyes from what you see.

“Stay away from false interpretations of marriage. Mainstream media and books have a way of putting false ideas in one’s mind. Expectations ruin relationships.”

“Watch what “innocent” things come into the house that can steal your purity. Commercials, ads received in the mail and even clothing catalogs. Men especially are drawn to things visually, though ladies can be as well. If you go somewhere where you see these things, put these items away from yourself, out of sight or hide them in a drawer in another room so they are less of a temptation.”

You also need to be careful about WHAT YOU HEAR.  Are you listening to music that glorifies the Lord and helps fix your mind on Christ and His ways, or are you listening to love longs, or songs that tell you that you do not need anything or anyone and you should just do what makes you feel good. What about the people you listen to? Are you surrounding yourself with Godly friends who are pointing you to the Lord? Are you attending church regularly and listening to the preaching for Godly instruction from the Lord?   

“Be careful when you start a job out of high school, the heart can be easily stolen by ungodly friendships, and the constant playing of the world’s music all day long.”

You should also be careful of WHAT YOU DO? Are you using your time wisely? Do you spend excess time playing video games and watching TV? Are you always on your phone? Have you considered being involved in ministry or calling that person you know needs encouragement? Ask the Lord what he wants you to do with your time.  

This is especially important, in regards to your relationship with the opposite sex. You need to GUARD your PURITY. Are you seeking out a boyfriend/ girlfriend?  Are you “flirting” or maybe texting a particular person regularly? There is nothing wrong with talking to the opposite sex. In fact, this is a great stage of life to get comfortable learning to communicate with the opposite sex. The best way to do this is to get to know other guys and girls in a group setting, where you can truly learn of their character. It is the exclusivity of the “dating game,” where the trouble lies.  If you are not financially, and emotionally ready for marriage then you should go to “sleep,” in this area and focus on becoming the best person you can be for your future spouse.

“The hearts of young people are so easily connected with one another, and it’s natural to “like” many different people during the single years, and to be always praying about the person they will marry. This can be a very difficult season of life, to be honest. It’s a constant checking of emotions; and re-committing ourselves to trust God again. Each single Christian needs to commit before the Lord to preserve themselves for their mate (if God allows); but essentially to commit themselves to be a servant of the Lord no matter what the future holds. Again, this can be a very challenging place to live. There is much uncertainty; but there is also the chance to experience sweet peace and a unique freedom to walk very closely with the Lord.” 

“Growing up I was exposed to a lot of ‘good’ marriages and ‘bad’ ones. In my mind I was making a mental note of what I wanted. Once in high school the world did a good job of making me believe that I didn’t need marriage or children to be fulfilled. Therefore, in my teen years, I had a mentality of ‘trying out’ different guys by dating. This ended up hurting me in so many more ways than I would like to admit. My mom ALWAYS made it clear that I should wait till marriage (and I did) but there are so many ways to taint one self before marriage. I got saved and through my years of growing in the Lord, I started to understand the beauty, value, and the gift that marriage is.”

“I never had a relationship with a young man before my husband. It was worth it to save not just your actual first kiss and actual purity but your emotional involvement with a young man. You cannot be close friends with a guy. This will only lead to problems later on emotionally and physically. It is rewarding as a young woman to not have those relationships in your background.”

“It is wise to choose to never be alone with the opposite sex. This is a good principle, not only in the single life, but also to protect a marriage relationship afterwards. Many affairs are “happen chance” because of a man at work having an innocent lunch with another woman at work. Emotions are shared, comfort is offered and things easily lead to a place neither intended. Protect your purity now and your future marriage. I have found guys can be unaware of a girl’s intentions. Sometimes, there are no intentions and they just happen. You can never be too cautious and your future spouse will thank you.”

I trust that you will take this priority and see what changes you need to make in your own life. If you can control the things you see, hear, and the things you do, it will be easy for your thoughts to focus on the right things and not the pleasures of this world. Seek out a friend for accountability or talk with your Pastor or Pastor’s wife about how you can Keep Your Heart With All Diligence

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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