My baby brother turned 18 last month and I wrote him a little message that I thought would make a good blog post. So here it is:

18, a time for new beginnings, of a sort. A time to put behind you the childish ways of your youth and instead enter the world of adults. This does not mean you need to change who you are, but to choose wisely what you do with your time. Will you seek God or your own pleasures? It’s a curious thing; we think we know best, we’re always looking for the next temporary high to fill the black hole inside of you and me. Even though the one place we are promised to find fullness of joy is in God’s presence. Does that mean we have to die? Yes and no. While we don’t kill our bodies we do “die to self” in other words letting go of what fills us only temporarily and leaves us feeling hollow until we can get our hands on more of what left us empty in the first place. But it’s so very hard to let go, to say I am wrong and I don’t know better than you Jesus. It’s a curious thing. He died, lived in  mortal body, suffered, bled, was tortured, and carried the weight of our sins and yet we still insist on spitting in His face and shunning His love. Love and joy for eternity if only we’d receive it. As I grow older I realize what I’ve missed and how I’ve only hurt myself and my relationship with Jesus by living my own way and practically ignoring Christ’s love. Why? Because I am selfish and think I know better than the one who made me, the one who wired me to want what I want and like what I like. And yet, after all this time, I can truly say that some of my most fulfilled moments have been praising God and just spending time in His presence. It might be painful or even boring first but if you keep seeking with your whole heart then you will find Him and the fullness of joy that can be only found in having a right relationship with God. Doing otherwise by going after the world’s temporary pleasures is no better than shooting yourself in the foot.

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