I’m approaching 40. And I’ve worked with a lot of young people over the years. Middle School. High School. College. Singles. Young Couples. Most of them are smarter and have better character than I did. In fact, it is hard for me to look back at me 20 years ago and see anything besides an ass. A good ole King James Bible ass. The following are 10 pieces of advice I would give myself if I could go back to the age of 19.

1. Listening to bands no one has ever heard of does not mean people should think you are cool. At all. It could just mean you are trying to show off. Not cool.

2. Your friend Scott is right. Jesus would probably drink wine if he were around today. Maybe out of a box.

3. Your bad decisions are indeed worse, contextually speaking, than what is happening in China. If only because you are using the suffering to divert your Mom’s attention from your irresponsibility.

4. Once you are part of the body of Christ, you are no longer just an individual any more.

5. You know nothing. Learn from those who have years on you.

6. Be kind at the risk of everything else.

7. Laugh at yourself with everyone else.

8. Keep writing. Even though no is reading. And don’t let that crappy Creative Writing teacher discourage you.

9. Just because you read something, saw something, heard something does not mean you understand it to the point of having a conviction. Stop. And think. For a long time. And then read some more. And think some more. And err on the side of silence.

10. Be glad to be wrong. Laugh about it and be glad someone else is enjoying being right.