Ecclesiastes 11: 9 Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the inclination of your heart and the desire of your eyes, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
June is graduation season in the U.S., a time in which many high school and college students complete their studies and move on to the next season of life. I have to say, I’m excited for these young people. So much promise and possibiity for the future! In these verses there is both an invitation and a warning.
The invitation is to “rejoice” and “follow the inclination of your heart”. Young people have few things to tie them down. Most are not yet married, do not yet have children, mortgages, and other encumberances. They are free to go where the wind blows – and many do. Having moved from childhood to young adulthood, they will experience a new level of freedom and independence.
“…but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.:
And here appears the warning. With greater freedom comes greater responsibility. The two go hand in hand. We are all accountable for our actions, both on earth and before God. This is the part that can be painful. For many younger adults, their liberty will grow faster than their personal maturity. This was certainly true of me, many years ago. I had to learn many things the hard way. I’ll bet many of you did too. 🙂
This passage encourages me to pray for our young people. I’m both excited for them – and a bit concerned for them. But we trust that God cares for them in any case.
Heavenly Father, today we pray for all young people entering a season of both greater freedoms and greater responsibilities. Give them wisdom to embrace both. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.