Three Lessons Young People Can Teach Us About Faith

I remember my first board meeting.  Sitting around the table with 17 other Godly men and women was quite the intimidating experience.  I was 24.  When one of the most influential board members addressed me directly, I knew I was in for it.

We were disagreeing on a decision that had huge ramifications for years to come.  I had voiced my opinion.  The board members had voiced theirs.  And then this one board member turned to me and said, “You know, Kevin, in times like this when we disagree on important decisions, we need to look at what Scripture tells us…”

“The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair”  (Proverbs 20:29).

His point was clear:  Old men possess wisdom.  Young men don’t.  I was not old, therefore I didn’t possess wisdom.

After I picked myself up off the floor, and bit my tongue from saying anything I would later regret, I just nodded in return and said, “Thanks.”  That verse is true.  Old men have seen life unfold.  The scars and wrinkles on their body represent different seasons, or experiences, where they saw God’s faithfulness in many different ways.

Young people, on the other hand, haven’t.  Their faith and wisdom  are raw.  They are unrefined and quite often, untested.  Yet young people feel strong and invincible.  This strength leads them to do things that makes old people gasp.

For the past 20 years I have worked with – or very close to – college students from all over the country.  It was a rich season for me, filled with great memories.  As I think back to the years I’ve spent with these college students, I realized I have been shaped by them in profound ways.

If I boil them down into big categories, here are the top three lessons they have taught me about faith:

1. Our faith sets us free to be undignified in worship.

Fifteen years ago a college student asked me if I minded that he raise his hands during the worship time.  In humility, he was asking because he didn’t want to be a distraction to those around him.

This was foreign to me.  I had grown up in a conservative Baptist church.  The one time I remember a lady raising her hands to worship near me, my sister and I imitated her and giggled the rest of the church service.

Young people don’t separate their emotions from their faith.  Like at a good college football game, they want to loudly proclaim that God is good, that He is mighty, and that He is worthy of our worship.  It’s not until us older people step in and convince them that acting a fool is…well…foolish that they stop.

In 2 Sam 6, King David is so excited that the ark of the Lord is finally in Jerusalem that he ran around and danced in the streets.  His wife got mad, but David told her, “I will get even more undignified than this” (2 Samuel 6:22).  He wasn’t worried about peoples’ perceptions.  He was overcome with joy, and was freely expressing it.

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SOURCE: Crosswalk, Kevin East