What I Would Tell My Younger Self

During a Q&A interview earlier this year, I was asked “What would you say to your younger self?” Here was my answer:

And for those who would like to read a summary of what I shared, and want more resources:

1) Learn to say no to even very good things so that you can be free to say yes to those few wonderful things God has called you to do. 

Years ago I wrote an article on Planned Neglect: Saying No to Good Things So We Can Say Yes to the Best. I said then, and I still believe it to be true: We need to neglect doing the things that countless people want us to do, so that we will be available to do what God wants. Instead of exhausting ourselves doing many secondary things, may we do a few primary things well. And that begins with our daily time with God.

I later wrote a related but not redundant blog: A Lesson Hard Learned: Being Content with Saying No to Truly Good Opportunities. I also wrote on Does It Matter How We Spend Our Free Time? And here’s a short article on understanding the difference between the urgent and the important. Finally, years ago I wrote about Mary and Martha in an article: Can’t You See That I’m Busy?

2) Don’t listen to those voices (including the ones coming even from the church) who are saying, “Don’t be radical for Jesus.”

Jesus Himself expected radical obedience from His followers: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46). To follow Christ is not about being comfortable—it’s about being sold-out to the God with the nailed-scarred hands, being radical for Him, standing up for Him, and speaking the truth in love, with grace.

A day of judgment is coming upon all men. God promises great reward for all who have served him faithfully. He will reward ­every­ loyal servant for works done in this life: “At that time each will receive his praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5). This is a particularly encouraging passage, suggesting that God will find something to praise and reward each one of us for. Shouldn’t that motivate us to do more for our Father that He will take pleasure in and be proud of?

Let’s follow Jesus wherever He leads, then depend upon Him to give us more courage to take the next step. “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:26).

See my article Our Mission: Make More Disciples and Fewer Performers, and the books Radical and Follow Me by David Platt.

Photo: Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries