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Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1

10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s



1.  Nobody sits down and plans to ruin their life (alcoholic, drug addict, bankrupt, destroy their marriage, etc.) - but it happens, far too often. It  happens because of choices we make, although that is not the result anyone would willingly choose.

2.  Many life-defining choices are made early in life: Faith, education, career, marriage, faith, priorities of life. Sometimes wrong choices can snowball, with disastrous consequences. What goes wrong? How can you avoid such              mistakes?

3.  God's plan for success from your youth onward, Eccl. 11:9-12:1.

4.  Once in a while Facebook has something notable to share: 10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s by Jonathan Pokluda, posted by Sean Lowe.

10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s:
1)  Believe that ideas don’t have consequences.
Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23; Gal. 6:7-8

  a.  "Sin truly does rob us of life, fooling us into thinking we are living life to the “fullest.” Sin, any sin, turns family into an obligation, turns our relationships into burdensome commitments, and turns friendships into strategic conversations and empty laughter. Sin turns your career into work, turns memories into blurry visions, and turns the beautiful into the ordinary" ("Getting Away with It", Jonathan Pokluda).

  b.  You are in the process of becoming what you will be one day: Great spouse, parent, career, faith, reputation, etc.; or the opposite.
  -The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. (Proverbs 14:15, ESV)

2)  Live outside your means. Eccl. 2:10; 5:10-12

  a.  When you spend more than you can afford, you still have to pay for interest.

  b.  "Good times" now may mean "bad times" of debt later. Hab. 2:6-7
  -The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7, ESV)

3)  Feed an addiction. 2 Pet. 2:19; Jno. 8:34

  a.  Alcohol, money, sex, drugs, porn, shopping... Addictions bring death, spiritually and sometimes physically, sometimes of relationships, freedom and joy. Addiction occurs through repetition (like exercise),                                                 so stop now - not after "one last time".
  -The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. (Proverbs 11:6, NIV)

4)  Run with fools. Prov. 4:14-17; 14:7; 1 Cor. 15:33

  a.  You become what you hang around with ("You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with", Pokluda).

  b.  Hang around with faithless, idiots, addicts or criminals and that is what you will become; vice versa.
  -Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20, ESV)

5)  Carelessly give your heart away. Prov. 20:25; Eccl. 5:5; Col. 3:16

  a.  Only someone totally committed to protecting your heart will not break it or sin against it. Only give it away once, at your marriage, Matt. 19:4-6.

  b.  Be careful with what entertains your heart, fills your heart, what it seeks, who and what it loves. (Warning: Premarital sex and porn breaks hearts!)
  -Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23, ESV)

6)  Tolerate evil. Eph. 5:5-7, 11; 1 Pet. 4:3-4

  a.  When it comes to setting standards, "it's not what you preach, it's what you tolerate" that counts (Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin).

  b.  Evil actively seeks to destroy you and others; Oppose it.

  c.  God does not tolerate sin; His gave His Son to die because of it.
  -To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. (Proverbs 8:13, ESV)

7)  Make secondary things ultimate and ultimate things secondary. Matt. 6:33; Eccl. 12:13
  a.  If a stranger observed how you spend your time and resources, what would they say your life is about? Making money? Looking good? Playing video games? Fantasy football? Worshiping God or worshiping the 60-inch HD TV?

  b.  Balance and godly priorities, Prov. 25:16; Lk. 10:42.

  -Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and   disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:8-9, ESV)

8)  Believe that this life is all about you. Mk. 10:43-44; Lk. 9:23; Gal. 2:20 (Rom. 12:3)
  a.  7 billion people; All important to God. If you want to make a difference in this world and in the lives of others, then live for God.

-Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18, ESV)

9)  Live for immediate gratification. 1 Cor. 9:25-27; Gal. 6:9; 2 Tim. 4:7-8

  a.  "Nothing truly worthwhile comes quickly." (Pokluda)

  b.  We have microwave patience and gourmet expectations!
-The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.  (Proverbs 21:20, ESV)

10)  Avoid accountability. Eccl. 11:9; 12:14; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12

  a.  Don't run from those who help hold you accountable; they love you!

  b.  If you run with those who say "anything goes", you will ruin your life.
-Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1, ESV)


1.  To ruin your life at any age; forget God, Eccl. 12:1.

2.  To set your life on the road to success, remember Solomon's 3 R's: Rejoice...Remove...Remember (Eccl. 11:9-12:1).



Acknowledgement: The bulk of this lesson is taken from 10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s by Jonathan Pokluda, which is posted by Sean Lowe here.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: November 21, 2015