Young people are often radical, idealistic and energetic. Most of the revolutions in recent decades have mainly been propelled with young people in the front line.
If there is a need to go to the barricades to fight for a cause or a principle, it’s usually the young people who do so. Our great writers also understood this when they called for people to make an effort and a commitment to human dignity and freedom. They didn’t appeal to those who were old and well established, but they wrote to the youth.
Large numbers of young people go around today with plans and a desire to do something for humanity. Solving the cancer enigma. Fighting for the environment. Battling hunger and poverty. Taking care of the weak in society. The list is long; for those who want to make a difference, there is no shortage of areas to get involved in. A few of them find a cause to advocate with a strong commitment that lasts a lifetime. Most people, however, are involved for a time, but quickly become disillusioned or consumed by the anxieties and responsibilities of adult life. As the years go by, idealism is often overcome by the pursuit of a career and the need for money and recognition.
So what does Christianity have to offer a committed and energetic young person? What opportunities exist for someone who wants to make a difference?
A life force for today
The gospel about Jesus—His life, His death and His resurrection—opens unimagined perspectives for anyone with a fervent and wholehearted commitment to do something positive in the world! It invites you to a life of service for your fellow man, a life where every day means a chance to give of yourself. It invites you to be along in relieving need, to give the needy the help that will cause them to rejoice in gratitude for the whole of eternity. Can you imagine any more meaningful and rewarding life to be involved in?
Christianity does not consist of wise thoughts that must be learned and understood, or theories about salvation that must be memorized. Nor does it consist of outstanding human achievements and mysterious rituals. Christianity is not a life insurance against the day of judgment; it is a life force for today! Christianity is a life in which your personal development goes hand in hand with a growing commitment for others. It is a life of ever-deepening joy about being able to be an instrument of God’s care and mercy towards mankind.
This life is open to everyone
This life is not reserved for people with any special strength of character, education, cultural background or talent. It is open to everyone. However, there is an entrance gateway that must be passed—God wants your whole heart. He wants your thoughts, plans for the future, and your commitment. He doesn’t want to share these with anyone. However, if He receives these things, there is no limit to what He will accomplish in and through you.
Those who have taken this step soon find that they also have to look inwardly. As a human being you fall short, because sin soon turns up—even when you have a strong desire to be of help to others. This is when life really gets interesting! This is when you start to wage war against selfishness, pride, envy, and all other sins that are obstacles to your desire to help. God, who has received your whole heart, is watching carefully, and He guarantees the victory Himself.
Then it doesn’t take long until you start being permeated with joy. A deep gratitude begins to fill your heart, a love for the Savior that increases and develops the rest of your life. The urge to help other people also increases and becomes more heartfelt. Life becomes meaningful and interesting and provides a far greater satisfaction than you could ever experience by living out your own dreams or interests.
You don’t need to travel to distant countries to gain an outlet for this urge. On the contrary, it’s enough to look around at your immediate surroundings. Aren’t there plenty of tasks to address for someone with a burning commitment, one that would love to be of help?
Isn’t Christianity a message for young people who want to make a difference?