Carpe diem. A common Latin phrase, encouraging people to live within each moment as if there is no tomorrow, to “seize the day.” This expression could be interpreted by most to live freely and without consequence, to adopt a carefree attitude without much thought for the future. But what does it mean for us Christians? Ephesians 5:15-16 inspires us to make haste and be cautious of the decisions we make, “be careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Our duty as Christians is to squeeze every last drop of potential out of the opportunities that God has gifted to us. As young teens and students, we do this by making the most of our studies and extracurricular activities. By taking advantage of every pathway available to us, we set an example to our peers on how to truly “seize the day” and, most importantly, how to honor His plan for our lives.
How Do We Seize The Day?
What should we do as youths to play our part? God has granted each and every one of us unique talents, asking nothing in return other than for us to honor Him by developing these gifts. Whether your skills flourish within your academic studies, the sporting field, or creative arts, it is our obligation as His children to nurture and expand them. 1 Peter 4:10 clearly instructs Christians on how to serve God with our talents, “each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” While Peter was specifically referring to spiritual gifts given to each follower of Christ, such as prophecy and healing, we can still apply it to the blessings that He has given us. Just as we receive gifts on our birthday or Christmas, we show our appreciation to the giver by cherishing and caring for it. Should we not show our gratitude to God for the talents He has gifted us by using it to the best of our abilities?
When Is The Right Time?
Don’t wait for the right time because it will never come. The time will never be right. Start where you are now with the tools and gifts available to you, “seize the day.”
Take these few examples. If you are talented in teaching and interacting with students, you might try to teach Sunday School classes in church. Maybe you enjoy music or play an instrument. Why not consider using this gift to play in the church service or help someone else get better at their instrument. Are you an extrovert? Try inviting your friends and new people to church or your local youth.
Sometimes using your talents for God might not look the same everyday. Some days you may see specifically how God is working in you and helping to shape you through your talents. Other days it may seem as if all options are not working or that you are not making an impact. But know that even though you don’t see progress, it is still important to let yourself be used by God because you may never know if you are having an impact on another individual’s life.
All Glory to Him
But wait! Don’t be trapped and carried away when doing your tasks; remember that the ultimate goal is to serve God’s will and purpose. When we use our gifts, we should not aim to glorify ourselves and take all the credit but instead the opposite. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16, NIV. Remember that time cannot be returned or retrieved; we are all given an equal amount of time each day, and all have been given equal opportunities. It’s just how we use it which determines its value. When the time comes to serve Christ, it should uphold the most value above everything else.
So will you choose to seize the day, these moments, these opportunities, or be content to let them slip away?
All in all, your talents and gifts are more than ‘hobbies’ or ‘activities that you are good at’; these gifts are all blessings given to us and have a purpose, which is to be used for the glory of God. As Teens, we must use such gifts to advance the kingdom of God, while also helping others and improving the world around us.
Jayden Lim (18) is a writer for RE Generation-Z. If he’s not teaching PDHPE, you’ll usually find him playing basketball, volleyball or at the gym. Through his works he aims to outreach to young teens and guide them through the uncertainty of their teenage years.