"The Heat is On"
Written by: Kim MJ Stairs
Are you feeling pressured by those around you? There are so many choices that you have to make in a day. Do I wear my hair up or down? Will this red shirt make me look cool enough? These are just simple daily questions we may ask our self. But what do you do when it is a question of your faith?
You are growing up so fast; you don’t want to be treated like a little kid any more and you wish your parents would stop babying you. So you may stop talking to them (parents) and you definitely don’t want to be seen with them. That only leaves you to make the tough choices on your own. So what do you say to your friends or do when you are confronted with decisions that you know are not right (especially when you are not at youth group or with friends from church)? Here is a list of some of the hot topics today:
•Check out this Myspace.com site. I have an account. Do you want one?
•Hey let’s play the PS2.. Do you like Grand Theft Auto?
•Let’s have smoke.
•Come on baby, it’s not sex.
My friend bought some beer, do you drink?
•Look at these pictures I found on the internet!
It’s hard to believe, but this is your reality. You can probably add more to the list. Actually why don’t you jot down some of the temptations that you are faced with at school, friend’s houses, with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or even while babysitting.
It is so easy to go along with what everyone is doing and think that no one will notice you in the crowd. Maybe you think it’s no big deal, that you’re just being more independent. If doing some of these things is no big deal, let’s look a little closer at your heart and see what it feels when you are engaged in some of these activities:
•I hope I don’t get caught.
•My Youth Pastor (or teacher) would not be happy if I told him what I just did.
•God I’m so sorry. I just wanted to try it once.
•I really screwed up. God I’m not a good Christian anymore.
•What’s the big deal, all my friends are doing it too and they don’t get punished.
•Everyone will think I’m cool but I feel so guilty.
Even if you never tell anyone how you feel inside, God sees what is inside your heart. He knows what you’ve been up to no matter how good you can hide it from your parents. God loves you so much, and He understands that even children are faced with temptations (those tough choices that can lead us to sin). He also has made the Bible available to His children to help guide them in times of need. You are his child.
This time in your life is special. You are on your way to being a full fledged adult. You get a little more freedom and you’re learning to express yourself in new ways. You have talents and gifts that are starting to emerge. But on the way to adult hood, are many years that can be filled with misery, and regret. If you have made poor decisions and compromised what you believe in, God is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins. *(insert Scripture) All you need to do is ask Him to forgive you.
The Bible is full of verses that tell of God’s love for you, and gives you verses on any situation you may be thinking about doing. But did you know that Jesus (even though He never sinned) was tempted in everyway? Jesus understands all what you are going through. You can live these short years in between kid and teenager to the best of your ability with God’s help!
Let’s look at some Bible verses you can work on this week. I will give you a situation, the verse, and the book and chapter reference for you. Here we go:
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit lives in you and is a gift from God. Your body is on longer your own. God paid a great price for you. Use your body to honor God.” 1 Cor.6:19-20
2.Obeying your parents-
“Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents.” Eph.6:1
3.Dating, touching, kissing, etc-
“Keep (guard) your heart with all diligence…” Prov.4:23 (paraphrased)
“Don’t be immoral in matters of sex. That is a sin against your own body in a way that no other sin is” 1 Cor.6:18
5.Music, Movies, Internet, TV- “Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure, and pleasing…Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think…”Rom.12:1-2
These are just a few examples of verses you can find in the Bible. Take these verses and make them your own. Insert your name whenever you can. Remember, God makes a way out of every temptation *(insert Scripture). Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher, pastor, or your parents to help you find more verses and to memorize these verses.
Live your life as a light to the world that will show the love of Jesus. Show your friends that Jesus is alive and living in you. Don’t be afraid to take a stand now at 10-14 years old. As you get older, the choices get harder, the sins get stronger, but God’s love endures forever. Remember, He loves you and you could never mess up bad enough for Him to stop loving you or forgive you.
Just a few tips to help you with your friends:
•Invite them to church.
•Have them come to your house instead.
•Only watch and listen to PG 13 and under movies, shows, internet, and music.
•Ask your parents if you can use them as the reason you can’t go with friends to a party or group thing that may get you into trouble.
•Have a Bible study with your friends.
•Pray for you friends at school.
•Don’t be afraid to stand for Jesus Christ.
You have a life to life! This is your time. Use it wisely. Remember you are loved!