It’s important to choose your friends carefully rather than just falling into a particular network, explain Dunham and Serven. “1 Corinthians 15:33 says, ‘Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good behavior.’”

 

Dunham notes: “I would say, especially in our 21st century culture when we are the most biblically-illiterate we’ve been since the Dark Ages, who we are around is as important as any one factor as to how we make decisions and process life. Who has your best interests in mind? Your true friends will, but it takes some work seeking out who those true friends are, especially when relationships can become so shallow these days because of our fast-paced culture and the myth of intimate connection via the Internet.”

 

Many people in their 20s find it hard to trust others because of the hurt they suffered growing up. If you’re one of them, the authors say, don’t be afraid to seek God’s healing so you can enjoy healthy relationships with other people. 

 

Talk to people,” Serven says.A Christian counselor. A pastor or elder or wife of one of those in your church. Your friends. Write a letter that expresses your feelings. Write a letter to God. Write one from Him to you. Feel the pain and then you may be able to forgive the pain and pursue healing. Just covering it up does no good. It will come out later.

 

Let Time Teach You

 

Discovering who you are takes time. But, like others in their 20s, you may be feeling pressure to have your life completely and tidily figured out before you hit 30 – or even 25. Don’t be afraid to take all the time you need to take before making an important decision, the authors say, remembering that each decision – good or bad – can serve as a valuable learning experience. Be willing to learn from history and older people as well.

 

In time, life’s disappointments may overtake your youthful idealism. But even when your circumstances don’t turn out the way you’d dreamed (such as not finding a job in your field after graduating from college), you can still grow in the ways that matter most to God. “Life doesnt always go the way we want it to,” says Serven. “… Our disappointments are opportunities to trust in the gospel in a different way than we have before. And we should continue striving with zeal to extend the Kingdom of God and not settle for a boring, disappointing life.

 

Dunham adds, “One word – and this is spoken from the chief of sinners in this area – relax. When I talk with twenty-somethings, this is probably the one word I end up using the most, just because they have allowed their culture, their parents, their career path, or themselves to dictate where they should be in life by now. A lot of times this kind of progress is just not realistic. … faithfulness in the midst of the struggle is what God desires to build in us, and that process usually tends to happen when life doesn’t make sense.”

 

It’s particularly important for singles to pursue contentment, write Serven and Dunham, because they should try to wait for “the Right Person in the Right Way at the Right Time.”