“I’M A YOUNG PERSON, CAN YOU HELP ME?”
“I am at a difficult time in my life. You see, I struggle to be independent without being rebellious. I want to do the right thing, but it is not always clear what that is. I long to be a good example to my friends, but I also want to fit in with my peers. I enjoy Christianity, but the world’s pull is strong.”
AS A YOUNG PERSON I NEED FOR YOU TO…
“ENCOURAGE ME.” You may not remember what it was like to be a teenager, but it is a discouraging time. Teenagers are very hard on themselves. When I make a mistake, I tend to make too much out of it. What I need is for the adults whom I respect to speak words of cheer and give me a pat on the back for the things I do well. I need to know that all people make mistakes.
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isa. 40:30-31). Paul wrote. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Col. 3:21). “TEACH ME.” Yes, even though 1 sometimes act like I know everything, I realize that I am still learning! The greatest need I have is to learn the Bible. The basic truths which you have known for years, I still do not know.
I want to know about Jesus and the love He has shown for me. I yearn to be free from sin’s guilt. I want to know when 1 will be old enough to be baptized. I long to know what Christ wants me to do with my life. How does He expect me to act? What is right and what is wrong?
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: 0 let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa. 119:9-11). Solomon wrote the Proverbs, in part, to give young men “knowledge and discretion” (Pro. 1:4).
“SHOW ME.” I appreciate your instructions, but I find it easier to follow your example. Your life is a better teacher than your lips. What I really want are role models. When I see adults adorning the Gospel of Christ, it is easier to understand what the precepts mean. When I see the importance you place on worshipping God and studying His Word it motivates me to be interested. When you sacrifice to live right it does not bother me so much when you ask me to sacrifice.
“My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” (Pro. 23:26). Jesus faced a young man who asked, “what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Mat. 19:20-21). Jesus taught the lesson on priorities and exemplified how it applied.
“CORRECT ME.” You did not expect to see this one, did you!? I act as if discipline were the curse of my life, but it is important to me. It shows that you care about me. I need boundaries set. I must know the difference between right and wrong, truth and error, good and bad. I will test you here. I am curious and want to know what lies outside the boundaries you have set for me. If you remain steadfast in your restrictions, then I will understand your conviction and see it as love for me.
The Proverbs say, “Withhold not correction from the child” (23:13); “Foolishness is bound in the heart of the child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (22:15): “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes’ (13:24).
Thank you for blessing my life and helping me through this difficult time.