“Keep Your Creator in Mind”

“Keep your Creator in mind while you are young! In years to come, you will be burdened down with troubles and say, ‘I don’t enjoy life anymore.’”​—Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Contemporary English Version.”

THE above passage from the Bible provides much food for thought. You only have one chance at youth. Later on, you will look back on the years of your adolescence, either with joyful satisfaction or with painful regret. Which will it be for you? How can you guide the outcome?

“Keep your Creator in mind,” urges the Bible, as quoted above. How can you do so? By adhering to God’s laws and principles, which are set out in his Word, the Bible. No, this does not mean that you have to lead an austere life of religious fanaticism, denying yourself all pleasure. On the contrary, keeping your Creator in mind will result in your having the greatest happiness possible. How can that be?

To illustrate, imagine that you have been given a car and a driver’s license. Exciting new freedom is before you, which can bring you great pleasure. Just think of the places you can go! However, your newfound freedom carries with it a sobering responsibility. While driving, you must obey the rules of the road and pay attention to traffic signals, speed limits, and warning signs. Does this responsibility rob you of your joy in driving? Not at all! In fact, it serves as a protection. There certainly is no joy in having an accident, is there?

It is similar with the freedom that your Creator, Jehovah God, has given you. As you grow to adulthood, he lets you choose how you will use your life. (Deuteronomy 30:19; Proverbs 27:11) What an awesome privilege that is! But that freedom carries with it serious responsibility. In his Word, Jehovah has set forth ‘rules of the road’​—standards that he wants you to live by. Do these standards hinder your happiness? Hardly! Instead, they protect you from the heartache and pain that afflict so many youths today.

 Federico, now in his early 30’s, knows the truth of that. As a young man, he saw schoolmates getting involved in all manner of activities that he knew he should avoid. “It looked like they were having a good time,” he says, “but I never thought that they were genuinely happy.” Looking back, Federico is glad that he had Bible standards to guide him through adolescence. “Sure, I had problems to contend with, like any young person,” he says. “But the Bible really protected me. And there was always a fellow Christian on hand to help me. Following Bible principles has given me greater happiness than I could ever have imagined!”

Jehovah God wants you to be happy​—really happy. That involves far more than the mere facade of fun that is simply a mask for underlying misery. The Bible states: “Enjoy your youth. Be happy while you are still young.” But the same Bible verse adds a warning. “Remember,” it says, “that God is going to judge you for whatever you do.”​—Ecclesiastes 11:9, Today’s English Version.

Keep your Creator in mind by making wise use of the freedom he has granted you. If you do, you can be assured that your Creator will keep you in mind and that he will give you the greatest happiness possible. The Bible states: “The blessing of Jehovah​—that is what makes rich, and he adds no pain with it.”​—Proverbs 10:22.

To help young people cope with the trials of adolescence, Jehovah’s Witnesses have published a 320-page publication entitled Questions Young People Ask . . . Answers That Work. To date, nearly 34 million copies of this book have been printed in 77 languages. You can obtain a copy by contacting Jehovah’s Witnesses in your neighborhood.

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To Help You Succeed as an Adolescent

Take time to read God’s Word

Apply yourself in the ministry

Avoid bad associations

Maintain close communication with your parents

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