What do you do when you feel tempted to do something you know is wrong?
Imagine there’s a bunch of cupcakes in the kitchen for your sister’s birthday and they look tasty. You want to lick a little bit of frosting off the top of one of them but you know that would ruin them. What should you do?
When I was five years old, I wanted a marble, so I stole one. Then one wasn’t enough and I stole a few more. Later, I felt guilty and confused. I had only meant to take one. Why did I keep stealing marbles?
Our actions are only the tip of the iceberg, because our decisions—whether they were conscious or not—are what led us there. I didn’t arbitrarily steal marbles, I made the decision to steal them because I was greedy and wanted what wasn’t mine.
What is my purpose?
I know—scary question right? The standard answer most Christians say would be to pray about it and ask God for guidance. I wholeheartedly agree with that.
Crying in front of a group of people is an unforgettable experience. The first few weeks into my freshman year of high school were painful, which made me anxious and isolated. One weekend girls’ retreat, I finally broke down crying.
In Sunday school, I learned that it was important to read the Bible, but the question I always had was, how do you do it?
As I mentioned in my testimony, our church has a tradition of giving Bibles to 3rd graders. I wouldn’t have minded an instruction pamphlet when I got mine. Although I loved to read, my earliest attempts to read the Bible were not successful.
Ever read something powerful, but afterwards struggled to apply it to your own life until you took a second glance?
That happened to me when I was reading Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff. Love Does is an extraordinary book. It’s full of real stories from Bob Goff’s life, many of which are funny, and important takeaways.
As a young person, I love 1 Timothy 4:12.
The first part says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…” Which is nice, the Bible is actually telling me that young people are good. Lots of times, young people are looked down on for being rude, clueless, or generally problematic.
My heart thudded against my chest. My breaths were fast and shallow. I felt like I was gasping for air.
I would hold myself, I would try to self-soothe.
I cried a lot. I felt constantly alone.
Dear youth group leader,
There are many wonderful qualities about you.
First, your volition to spend time around teenagers. Teenagers are a difficult group to minister to. Some adults think teenagers are self-absorbed and unwilling to learn. You see something different. You see that teenagers are part of the church too, and you seek to guide them.