3 Ways Young People Destroy Their Lives(Revised, by Mark Kennedy)
I speak from personal experience and from conversations with others in prison. I have spent most of my life in prisons of one sort or another.
The first way young people destroy their lives is by seeking the wrong kind of group to belong when there is little support at home. These young people are searching for attention, support and acceptance. Sometimes this comes in the form of questionable acquaintances - the kind that advocates lying, sneaking out at night, shoplifting, drinking and premarital sex. Some even turn to gangs for companionship and a sense of belonging. Unfortunately, gangs typically exert a very negative influence. 98% of gangs have a reputation for trouble and those involved with them eventually pay a steep price. “Initiations” can be violent, and the majority of gang members ultimately suffer physical or psychological abuse, imprisonment and even death. 1 Corinthians 15:33 states, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’" Those who pick questionable friends or gangs have been deceived – BELIEVE ME.
The second way many young people destroy their lives is by greed. They see something they want NOW and immediately go about getting it by hook or crook. This may involve relentlessly pestering their parents (or grandparents), borrowing (or charging) with little intention of repayment, and even outright theft. They have not been taught that the honest way to get things is to work for them and pay up front. However, they see TV characters (or friends) cheat, lie, steal or rob and assume that it is okay. Those that steal eventually pay a high price. Proverbs 20:21 says, “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.” Greed is the downfall of many young people. It invariably ends in shame, reproach, and even prison.
The third way that many young people destroy their lives is by unrestrained lust of the flesh. The Bible tells us that what we dwell upon eventually leads to action – “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Let me tell you from experience – if you focus on pornography and illicit sex, you are planting impure seeds in your mind and heart. Once they take “root”, they are almost impossible to remove. The more you view depraved images or think impure thoughts, the stronger your desire to “fulfill them in the flesh”. Regrettably, thousands of illicit affairs, rapes and episodes of child molestation occur DAILY as a result of young people (and older) dwelling on pornographic images and immoral thoughts. Remember the story of David and Bathsheba? The king looked… lusted… inquired… and soon lay in the bed of adultery. The consequences followed him for the rest of his life.
Many, like me, have had to spend years in prison before learning the truth about unwise choices in friends, greed and lust. But you can learn from my mistakes today. You don't need to come to a place like this to learn, and trust me - YOU DON’T WANT TO. Listen to Jesus and spare yourself a lifetime of heartache and regret. John 8:32 says, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." I now belong to Jesus. He provides for all my needs and keeps my thoughts on His kingdom (Matt. 6:33). Becoming a dedicated Christian was the best choice I ever made.
Jesus, always Jesus!