My heart hurts for what the culture has done to teens. We’ve been saturated with negative influence and lied to over and over again. Satan has distracted so many of us, and instead of passion we feel depression. Instead of hunger for righteousness we desire everything but good things.
This generation of young people would probably be considered justified to act the way we do, ESPECIALLY since we’re told that’s just how it is when we become 13. They say that’s what to expect. (Click here for more on this topic.)
HE calls us to something more.
Truth is, we can make the decision to be different. (And no, I’m certainly not saying the same thing that the transgender movement proclaims!)
We must rise above what everyone (including our parents) expects of us.
We say that we want to be respected but we must behave properly to earn it.
We say that we want to be taken seriously but we must give adults a reason to listen.
We desire for a better life; but the world doesn’t meet us halfway. No. Life isn’t fair but we have to work and keep on living. Things won’t be given to us. We must reach out to Christ and ask Him to give us the strength and wisdom to change.
We say that we want friends, but we first must be a friend. Especially to those who have none.
We say that we respect our parents and authority; but actions speak louder than words.
Are we truly living set-apart?
1 Timothy 4:12
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
Ouch. Do we truly live in a such a bold, Christ-like way that we challenge everyone-including adults to change? I’m not so sure.
For me personally, I consistently struggle with this as well. Sometimes it seems easier to just live up to what the culture portrays us as. Lazy, selfish, disrespectful, angry, etc.
But one day we’ll have to give reason and account to EVERY SINGLE THING WE DO/SAY.
“ The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” *1*
Let’s change topics just a bit.
What about reputation? What are you representing? Are you an example of a product of the world? Or are you a product of the Kingdom of God? Everything we do/say/watch/read/listen to/etc must be filtered through what we believe.
A Christian (and yes, a Christian TEEN), must not be filling their precious, God-given time with the same TV Shows, the same magazines, the same music and the same friends that unbelievers do.
“We’re now part of a counter-culture movement. We’re not like the other teenagers around us. We don’t confirm to stereotypes. We’ve actually become weird in the eyes of our culture. Teen magazines are not written for us. Modern pop music is not composed for us. The latest TV lineup is not scripted for us. We’re not your average teenagers anymore. What are we? We are free. Following Jesus means we don’t have to live the way the culture tells us to. We get to live in a richer and more meaningful and satisfying way every single day. We are Jesus-followers. That means we don’t have to waste our lives. It means we do hard things. It means we turn our backs on what the world says is cool. It means we’re members of a mission that will change everything. It means we stand out from those around us like blazing light in a pitch black room. It means we’re in a war, and we fight long and hard every day on the winning side. Make no mistake. Jesus changes everything.”
-This Changes Everything: How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe
Here’s the last thing I want to say. The life of a teenager with Christ by their side is an amazing one. It’s full of challenges and hardships and persecution but the blessings overflow!! You will be awestruck when you begin to realize how much more fulfilled you are when you live for something bigger than yourself. It’s humbling. It’s life changing. It impacts everyone around you. So go, world changer. Go and allow Christ to change lives through your example.
” “What now?”: Spend your youth (and every day for the rest of your life) in wide-eyed, soul-saturated worship. Fix your eyes on the life-giving, soul-redeeming, burden-relieving, sin-forgiving, service-demanding, all-satisfying, step-guiding, life-changing God. Be humble, be wonderstruck, be faithful, and throw yourself into a single-focused pursuit of this King of the universe. Take up your cross, deny yourself daily, and follow him. God is at work in this generation. He’s raising up young people to reject the status quo and risk everything to obey him. That’s our generation. That’s me. That’s you. And this is our calling. God changes everything. Now, teenager, go out and live like it.” *2*
*1*: English Standard Version.
*2*: This Changes Everything” How The Gospel Transforms The Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe