Archbishop: 'Don't wait until you are older to find out about Jesus'

Justin Welby's advice to his 14 year old self

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin WelbyAP

The Spectator has published an article which compiles a list of responses to the question: "What would you tell your 14 year old self?"

Prime Minister David Cameron, TV personality Jeremy Clarkson and actor Roger Moore are among those who have submitted their self-addressed letters, offering words of wisdom such as "Everything is at least as unfair as you think it is," (Clarkson), "Keep on with science subjects," (Cameron) and "Save your money, respect your elders, and do not make the same mistakes that I have or will do" (Moore).

Almost every respondent seems to have a similar take on the matter, referring to events, decisions and moments from the past that, given the chance, they would undo, or go back and change.

Though Archbishop Justin Welby's response may appear to follow that trend, his takes on a slightly different angle to the majority of the others, which include the suggestion "Start supporting Arsenal now. Scottish football is doomed," from Niall Ferguson.

His short letter implores his younger self to consider the importance of Jesus.

"More important than anything, don't wait until you are older to find out about Jesus Christ and his love for you. He is not just a name at Chapel, but a person you can know.

"Christmas is not a fairy story, but the compelling opening of the greatest drama in history, with you as one of millions of players," the letter reads.

While others comment on the things they wish they had tried harder at, express regret that they gave up too easily or failed to do certain things - such as Times columnist Giles Coren's lasting remorse at not buying a comic book he hankered after as a young boy than is now worth around £50,000 - Archbishop Welby tells his 14-year-old self: "You are rarely good at anything, a fact you know well and worry about.

"But don't worry – it does not measure who you are."

Though he perhaps wishes he had found faith earlier on in his life, the Archbishop does not imply any bitterness or real disappointment.

Instead, he simply says: "Life will be tough, but you will find more love than you can imagine now."

His message is one of hope, rather than regret. Looking to Jesus for self-worth and value, rather than how many piano lessons he took before deciding girls were more interesting.

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