have several young people who are soon going away to college. Some have
been home for the summer and are about to return for a new semester. We
love you all and we’re very proud of you. We miss you when you’re gone.
road you’re about to travel is at once an exciting and dangerous one.
The road to higher education is laced with great possibilities, while at
the same time offering pitfalls you will want to avoid at all costs. I
just want a few minutes of your time to suggest some things to help you
as you travel this new road and are immersed in this new environment. Is
admonitions are based on the Psalm 119:9-16.
Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?” it asks.
close to God’s word (vs. 9).
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanses his way?” That is the
question. And the answer is forthcoming. “By taking heed thereto
according to thy word.” No matter what you do this year, don’t stray far
from the word of God. Keep it close. It’s your protection against evil
inclinations and cultural temptations.
the Lord whole-heartedly (vs. 10).
“With my whole heart have I sought thee.” Some changes are
inevitable, but that doesn’t mean everything needs to change. Some
things need to stay as they are. You don’t want to change what you are.
You’re a Christian. You decide what you’re going to do—and that’s well
and good—but plan to seek God with your whole heart, no matter your
plans. Keep your faith above all keeping. No change is needed there.
the word with you (vs. 11).
“Thy word have I hid in my heart.” You’ll be going some places
that are new to you; and some of those new places are dangerous. Hide
His word in your heart so that you are armed against the invasions of
evil you no doubt will face. What a good way to begin this new time in
your life—with His word in your heart.
divine instruction (vs. 12).
“Teach me thy statutes,” he says. You will be getting
considerable new information about how to live life in your new
educational career, but you should not forget to invite some new
instruction concerning your eternal career. Being a good Christian is
more important than being a good engineer, or a good nurse, or a good
anything else. Learn about Him and you get the best of all educations.
be ashamed of who you are (vs. 13).
It’s easy to get caught up in this new life. And it’s easy to
just follow along with others, some of whom don’t share your
convictions. Don’t let that happen. It’s important that you make it
known early on that you are different. Don’t be ashamed. Be glad about
who you are and let others know. Declare it with joy and without
Don’t be dismayed at
the discipline of God’s word (vs. 14). It’s easy, when you’ve
just been loosed from the rules of home and you’re in charge of your
life, to be a little loose about the discipline of God’s word. Instead
of treating the word of God with rejoicing, you may feel somewhat hemmed
in by it. Remember, God’s word never requires anything or restricts
anything that is not for your good. “I have rejoiced in the way of thy
testimonies,” says that you understand its discipline to be for your
mind the really important things in your life (vs. 15).
No matter how good the education you get, it’s not as important,
nor is it as functional, as is knowing and loving God and His word. “I
will meditate on thy precepts,” the psalm says. Don’t get so busy with
your new life that you don’t take time to contemplate the eternal, to
muse about the spiritual, to remember what has true value and lasting
consequences. Meditation takes time. Take the time.
in His word and don’t forget its influence in your life (vs. 16).
Of all the books you can study, none should delight your mind
more than the word of the Lord. It’s the first thing you need to live a
happy life, first before any other book. When it’s coupled with the good
education you will no doubt achieve, it can bring you a totally
satisfying life. Without it, you can never be truly happy. “I will
delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy ways.”
you, gang. We’re proud of you—every one of you. You continue to be a joy
to all of us. As you leave, please remember who you are, from whence you
are come, and where you’re going. And come home again soon.
Other Articles by Dee Bowman
The Importance of Good Judgment
The Family Together
Rumors: How They Fly!