By Waylon Bailey
Last Sunday, our church family celebrated with over 40 high school seniors at our church. We recognized them in the morning worship and rejoiced with them and their families at a luncheon afterwards.
Graduate recognition is a fun time to preach. It seems that people are more ready to hear than at other times. At the worship services I preached about “Four Things to Do Before You Leave Home.” At the luncheon I had a few more minutes with graduates.
At that meeting I had four more suggestions for them. These are the kind of suggestions that fit us all.
First, remember the magic words.
I was shocked that not everyone knew the magic words. I often speak about the magic words at weddings as well. These magic words–please and thank you– will never wear out or go out of style. Everyone appreciates kindness from others. No matter where we are in life kind, gentle, appreciative words are fitting.
Second, use your Bible daily.
College students often forget that God has an important word for them as well. We gave out great Bibles yesterday. I made a challenge to not neglect those Bibles.
Third, choose your friends wisely.
We always become like those people we hang out with. Since that is the case no matter your age, it is absolutely essential that we choose our friends wisely. We must choose people who will help us become better and friends who will let us help them be better.
Finally, I challenged the graduates to think through and set long term goals.
Most people have short term goals but very few have life time goals. These are the goals which will totally drive our behavior and outlook.
A lifetime goal begins at the end of life and works backward. It begins at the day of your death. When you start at that point, you are ready to make realistic goals that will carry you through life.
Goals made in this way will bring real change.
What do you plan to do with the rest of your life?
Waylon Bailey is pastor of First Baptist Church in Covington and is Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board president. This editorial first appeared on his blog, which can be subscribed to by clicking here.