I just saw my first “Prom” pictures in the newspaper and my advice to those in junior high would be—start saving your money or be very kind to your parents! I read where this “Night of Nights” now costs an average of $1,000 per person. It is no longer a night, but a weekend of activities planned for “feeling grown- up.” And for most teens, it turns out that being grown-up translates into spending big money, splurging on luxuries and pampering yourself. For a night, you can be a fairy princess and prince.
Like the Prom, high school dating remains a rite of passage for teenagers, but it comes with a cost. Teenagers (or more likely, their parents) spend more than $100 billion each year on everything from hamburgers and DVD rentals on an average weekend to hairdressers and Humvee rentals for prom weekend. The moral to this observation is a simple one—growing up is a costly endeavor.
Jesus knew this. To Jesus, being grown up apparently meant denying yourself, taking up your cross and following him. It meant spending your life serving others and being the person God created you to be.
Now before I lose you with all this hard sounding, sacrificial stuff let me try to explain. Life and growing up is all about determining what is important and then giving yourself to it as completely and as lovingly as you possibly can. Jesus knew that when he said, “What good will it be for a man if he gain the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16: 26)
Translated into real life this means that what we are inside is more important than who we are on the outside. The riches of the soul are worth more than the wealth of the world. When we learn that, we have learned all there is to know.
So, let’s review this “growing up is a costly endeavor” observation:
The decision to follow Jesus: EXPENSIVE. Could run into years of self-denial and even death. Abundant life blessed with the Creator who treasures us, the Christ who saves us and the Spirit who sustains us: PRICELESS.
My hope for you today is that you will grow up from the inside out. And while it is expensive, it is also priceless!