Dear Christian Teens,
I understand that life is difficult and faith in Jesus is unpopular.
I understand that it’s really easy to walk away when you have your own freedoms.
I get it that when school is hectic and demanding (high school or college, anyone?) it’s easier to slack on spiritual growth.
I understand that there are seven days in a week and only two days in a weekend, and it’s incredibly tempting to binge-watch Netflix in between naps, books, snacks, and coffee in those two short days. Studying is frustrating, yes. And faith can seem to take the back burner when we’d rather have “me time” and chill out.
I also do know that a lot of “raised Christian” kids don’t stick with their roots because being a Christian isn’t easy.
It’s easy to sleep in on Sundays instead of going to church.
It’s easy to watch Netflix (or even read novels) instead of spending time in the Bible.
It’s easy to be around bad influences because they’re popular people to be around.
But at a point, this becomes really dangerous because we let ourselves slip away from what we once considered truth. Honestly, the temptation to slip away is real. I’m not saying most of us will fall into this, but we can’t approach our spiritual life and growth with apathy or half-hearted commitment.
A lot of us are teenagers right now, which means that right now is the launchpad for the rest of our lives (to put it as Alex and Brett Harris do). Our decisions and beliefs now will shape our futures.
I’m NOT going to beat us all up on how we should be doing this or that and how we aren’t. That doesn’t accomplish anything, really.
What I will say is this.
If you want to stick with your faith, find the roots.
For a while, my roots were my parents. I believed in Jesus because they taught me to, and this later turned into having a faith of my own. By this, I mean that I read the Bible consistently on my own accord instead of just relying on family devotions, prayed without Mom or Dad around, and so forth. My faith became my own and it was my own choice.
It’s so simple to believe something when you have people heartily supporting you in that faith. But when nobody’s watching, what is that faith like?
Look down deep and find your roots. Is your belief growing in what someone has told you, or what you know is true? I can tell you for a fact that if your faith is a piggyback ride – you stay with it because someone’s carrying you – you won’t last long when you have to stand on your own two feet.
Let your roots be in the unshakable foundation of grace and truth and grow up into that.
Maybe you are strong in your foundation. That’s wonderful. Want the key to staying strong in that? Growth.
A foundation without an attempt at growth is like planting a seed in the desert and not watering it. It’ll be “there,” but it won’t make any progress, and will probably die.
We want to grow in our faith, and not let ourselves wither and shrivel up or blow away.
We can grow by studying the Bible intentionally. By understanding grace. By being hungry for truth and feeding that hunger.
So much of this is learning. Not a memorization of the “right answers,” but a belief in the God whom we know is true and the saving knowledge of His amazing grace, poured out through His Son.
We learn how to fashion our lives by knowing the Bible and the proper understanding of it. It comes from times of praying as well as reading. And following the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives.
Let your roots be solid by faith in truth, and your growth be steadfast by living in grace.
Dear Christian Teens, I understand that faith doesn’t always seem convenient, glamourous, or comfortable.
Look at it this way. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, there is grace for you. Whether you’ve loved Jesus your entire life or you’re far away from any faith at all, His grace covers you.
Coffee fails. (Sadly.) Our favorite shows go off of Netflix. Heartbreaks happen. And the things that we think satisfy us will ultimately perish.
But one thing does not, and that is the grace of God. That no matter where you are in life, you can be mended and made whole again. You can be given new life even when it feels miserable and dry. What we need isn’t temporary fixes of TV binges and chocolate, but something that lasts, and something to hang onto.
Our faith – no matter how difficult or unpopular – is what will last. We’re talking about eternity here!
Grow in grace.
See, our faith is significant because it is what our lives must be centered around.
And our lives can be more beautiful than we could ever imagine.
Thanks to Amanda F. for reminding me of this verse!
2 Peter 3:18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”