Stand Tall…Stand Strong

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With the radical deterioration in morals, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christian teenagers in particular, to embrace biblical principles. Spending most of their time at school, they are constantly exposed to alternative lifestyles contrary to God’s design and righteousness. While trying to uphold a Godly standard, confronting such wayward lifestyles five days a week proves to be sometimes emotionally draining. It is possible that many teenagers view Christianity as being synonymous to isolation, seclusion and irrelevance. Feeling unrelatable, most try to bridge the perceived gap created, by residing on the border between righteousness and sin. As a result, many completely neglect Christian principles such as wholesome conversation, Christ-centered behavior and everything in between. While such principles may be superficially viewed as unnecessary and impertinent, it is impossible to be a disciple for Christ without following Christ’s example and instructions. Although positively standing out in conversation and behavior can be a bit uncomfortable and daunting to many Christian teenagers, it will certainly establish tried and true confidence for effective and more powerful discipleship.

Notwithstanding, this statement does not negate the reality that Christian living is hard. For a teenager, the journey to finding some degree of contentment in living for Christ is painstaking. Not only is the journey long, but it is rough and intense. The average teenager has no qualms about using profanity to describe the taste of a chocolate bar. Most do not give much thought to the shallowness of trendy slogans like, “Express yourself, be you, you only have one life to live” when used to justify absurd, erratic and ungodly behavior. This is the spiritual and emotional discomfort Christian teenagers experience at school, but they still have the responsibility to coexist. They have to find a way to somehow be disciples for Christ.

Thanks be to God, it is in this nexus of discomfort that Christian teenagers truly begin to define their relationship with Christ. They learn not to look to feelings as a means of fueling spiritual endurance and gaining stamina. They are introduced to the concept that, “A belief, no matter how sincere, if not reflected in reality isn’t a belief; it is a delusion” (Kyle Idleman). As a result, they are poignantly convicted to make seemingly grievous sacrifices for the sake of  following Christ. However, they too find comfort in knowing that, “What [they] suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he [God] will reveal to them later” (Romans 8:18 NLT.). The mission to which Christ calls them is one of great difficulty. However, there is a sort of ‘humbling’ pride in embracing and understanding that “the human spirit [does not] move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world” (Martin Luther King Jr.). True Christian teenagers are a part of something greater; they are titans of Christ’s righteousness.

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