Last week as I was on my way to pick up my son, traffic was even worse than normal. As I sat through a stoplight that changed three times before I got to go through the intersection, I had the brilliant idea of taking a shortcut.
I drove down a small street through a neighborhood only to find it was closed for utility work. I turned around and took another route just as another school in the neighborhood dismissed. I was suddenly in the middle of that school’s afternoon traffic.
My shortcut idea was not a wise move.
In a culture that wants to achieve dreams as quickly as we can, attain the best job that we can land, and accomplish the things on our bucket list, we are often tempted to take shortcuts. We want to get there quicker. However, shortcuts are not always what they appear to be.
We especially need to use caution when we face shortcuts in areas like our spiritual walk, relationships, financial decisions, moral character, and ethical dilemmas. As young adult ministry leaders, we have the opportunity to encourage young adults to choose the road that will build character, integrity, and deep faith.
Jesus gave us this warning in Matthew 7:13-14:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”
Here are some things we can remind young adults about taking shortcuts:
1. Living a life of holiness does not come through taking shortcuts.
Some of the most disciplined and Jesus-honoring individuals I have ever known or read about have lived lives that consistently were not seeking the easy way out. There is a reason that we can trust what they say and find confidence in where they go – they have taken the time and effort to deeply study God’s word and sincerely seek His heart.
2. Taking shortcuts is really a form of laziness.
When the enemy convinces us that the easy way out of a decision is the best route, we begin to create a form of spiritual laziness in our attitude and heart. We begin to rely upon our own instincts and don’t seek out God’s wisdom and direction. The writer of Proverbs consistently reminds us that laziness is an attitude we must always keep in check:
“A slacker’s craving will kill him because his hands refuse to work.” (Proverbs 21:25)
3. Avoiding the shortcuts will lead to faith and trust that is real.
Taking the shortcuts can lead to frustration and sometimes even fear. However, a life of faith comes from taking the slow and steady course of seeking God moment by moment and allowing Him to show you the path that leads to life.
Be a leader that challenges young adults to not live lives that are always looking for the shortcut, but to live lives that are full of discipline and trust.
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.