Game Changers for Grads—And All of Us

May 23, 2022

It’s that time of year. Parents are proud and relieved, their children are excited, Grandpa and Grandma come in for the celebration. Robed and capped seniors are graduating! It’s a time of launching into a new season of life.

This past week I was honored to speak at our local celebration for graduates. It brought back many memories for me—my own graduations and those of my children. Memories are never neutral—they bring emotions with them. I felt them.

Our world can be a scary place; a tough place for all of us. It can be especially intimidating for a young person striking out for either further schooling or the workplace. In our society anxiety is at an all-time high. Suicide rates are soaring. Addictions, alcoholism, domestic violence, emotional and verbal abuse, broken relationships, and divorce—all of these are on the list of results of our overwhelming anxiety and fear. The list could be endless. The state of our society doesn’t offer much hope for people, not to mention a young person on the horizon of a new day.

I realize this is an oversimplification, but I believe the following statement is true: If Christians lived as if eternity were real, many of our problems would disappear. Each week at church you and I affirm our belief in heaven and hell, but there is a significant difference between our confessional theology and our functional living.

How often did you think of eternity last week, and how did it impact your decisions? If I’m honest, not very much. Consequently, our lives are much more complicated than they need to be. Our struggles reveal more about our eternity amnesia than about the world around us. We have forgotten that this world is not our home, and we really are created to live beyond here. Our lives here are just the beginning, but they determine everything about the rest.

Because that is so true and so essential, I shared with our graduates three necessities that we need to make certain are intentionally woven into the fabric of our mind and belief. They are of ultimate importance to all of us.

1. You must have a right understanding of who God is.

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians who compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.” — A. W. Tozer

It’s the most important, shaping thing about us. If God is in His rightful place in our minds and in our hearts, 1000 problems are immediately solved.

2. How God views us needs to be the determining factor in how we view ourselves.

C. S. Lewis explains how this works itself out. “How we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us. It is written that we shall ‘stand before’ Him, shall appear, shall be inspected. The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God. To please God … to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness … to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son—it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”

God is a Father with perfect love who longs for relationship with us, created us for relationship, and believes in our great purpose and potential. He equips us for life at its fullest.

3. The need to develop a biblical worldview.

Ninety-six percent of people who claim to be Christians do not have an accurate worldview. Everybody has a worldview—it’s just that very few have a biblical worldview. A worldview is the lens through which we see and interpret the world. An accurate worldview of morality, knowledge, behavior—all of life—is shaped and created through the Bible, which is interpreted through Jesus Christ. He is the lens through which the Bible is understood and applied for life at its best.

No matter how long ago you graduated or if you never did, these three things are game changers for how you approach life and do life. In turn, they change the results and the outcome of your life.