The Young Adult Experience

As a young adult in her early twenties, there’s a common theme that generations before me say. Usually, after I’ve made a mistake. I think it’s supposed to be encouraging. But it goes something like this.

“You’re young and stupid right now.”

Well, I know at least one of those things is true. But it got me thinking. What does being stupid mean? Is that something I’ll grow out of? Or will I reach a point one day where I’m no longer ‘young and stupid’ but just plain ‘stupid’?

The Art of Stupid

I’ve had so many ‘stupid’ moments in life that, at this point, I feel I have perfected it into an art form of self-expression. Missing social cues, not getting an oil change in over a year, or even that time I did my taxes wrong and forgot to pay the small $2 fine until it shot up to a whopping $657 fine. (I still blame the IRS for not sending me a notice about that last one).

The point is that everyone makes stupid mistakes, especially when they’re young. We’re inexperienced. We haven’t learned everything there is to learn about life and ‘adulting’. Now, I’m beginning to suspect that nobody older than us actually knows everything about being an adult. They just know more than we do.

That still leaves us young adults with a problem. How do we have joy with this time in our life when we are inexperienced? How do you have joy when you know you’re going to mess it up? Make mistakes and do ‘stupid’ things.

1. There’s this thing called grace.

It’s a radical concept. No matter your mistakes or how stupid you may be, God has grace for you. Even better news? This grace doesn’t have a time limit. No matter how old and experienced with life you get, you’ll still make mistakes. There’s grace for that, too. Take a deep breath and then take it to God. You may need to own up for your mistakes, and you may have consequences. But that doesn’t mean you have to mentally degrade yourself. Have some grace.

2. God can use you no matter how ‘stupid’ you think you are.

I get in my head. I think ‘If there’s a chance I could mess it up, God should pick someone better to do the thing’. But the great thing about God? He doesn’t pick perfect people—except for that one time with Jesus. But that’s an outlier, cause Jesus is God.

He didn’t pick a perfect first king for the Israelites. He didn’t pick ‘perfect’ disciples. He certainly didn’t pick the perfect people group to be His… at least, by my standards. That’s another great thing about God. They were perfect for His plan.

No matter how young, old, stupid, smart, brave, cowardly, or whatever you are… God can use you. God wants you. God loves you.

Maybe instead of saying ‘we’re young and stupid’ we should say this… We’re young and we’re learning. Mistakes come with that. But there’s grace for those mistakes. What a joy it is to be able to learn and grow and have a God who has grace for our mistakes.


Do you know what else is kind of stupid? Not practicing joy! Fix that with my free joy-votional!

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