• Making Your Youth a Success

    RESIDENTS of one European country were asked to choose from three alternatives: beauty, riches, or youth. The top choice was youth. Yes, people of all age groups regard the teenage years and the early 20’s as a special time in life. And everyone wants youths to make a successful transition from childhood to adulthood. But how?

    Can the Bible help? The answer is definitely yes. Let us examine two areas in which God’s Word can be of special help to young people, perhaps of more help to the young than to any other age group.

    Getting Along With Others

    Jugend 2000 is a report on a wide-ranging survey of the attitudes, values, and behavior of more than 5,000 young people in Germany. The survey reveals that when youths pursue leisure activities​—such as listening to music, engaging in sports, or just hanging out—​they are almost always with other people. Perhaps more than any other age group, young people want to be with their peers. Surely it follows that one of the secrets of success in youth is getting along with others.

    But it is not always easy to get along with others. Indeed, human relations is an area where young men and women admit they often have problems. Here the Bible can be a real help. God’s Word contains basic guidance for youths in building balanced relationships. What does the Bible say?

    One of the most important principles of human relations is called the Golden Rule: “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you.” Treating others with respect, dignity, and kindness encourages them to treat you the same way. Kind behavior can neutralize an atmosphere of friction and stress. If you become known for your considerate behavior toward others, you are likely to gain their recognition and acceptance. Does it not make you feel good to be accepted by others?​— Matthew 7:12 ,

    Revised English Bible.

    The Bible advises you to “love your neighbor as yourself.” You need to love yourself in the sense of caring for yourself and having a healthy measure of self-respect, not too much and not too little. Why does that help? Well, if you do not feel good about yourself, you may be overcritical of others, which gets in the way of good relationships. But balanced self-worth is a platform on which you can build strong friendships.​— Matthew 22:39 .

    Once a friendship develops, it needs to be bonded by effort on both sides. Investing time in a friendship should make you feel good, since “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”

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