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.
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.
For this post, I had the privilege of talking with several friends of mine as well as a few adults about the importance of Christian community. Some names have been changed.
One of the things I miss the most out of all the things we’ve lost by sheltering in place during this pandemic is my community. Even though I get to see them on video calls, it isn’t the same. Through these last few weeks I’ve realized how much my church, youth group and girls’ group is important to me.
I love to journal. I am passionate about all kinds of writing and keeping a journal is just one of the ways I do that. Every time I fill up one journal, I go through my collection of journals, and pick my next one based on what season of life I am going through.
This season’s journal was decorated with loaves and fishes. I wanted it to remind me of God’s provision. The reason was, before all the cancellations and quarantines of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was supposed to go on a mission trip. It was going to be my first mission trip and I was excited and a little nervous to see how God was going to use me.
Prayer was hard for me because I never knew what to say. I was a shy girl who lived in fear of saying the wrong thing, even to God. Every time I tried to pray, it felt wrong for some reason. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.
The first thing that opened up my eyes to prayer was the Prayer Night I mentioned in my testimony. That was what started my learning, but I didn’t become “perfect” at praying. I was still confused after the event and had more questions.
My youth leader gave everyone an index card. “Write a question,” he said. “It could be a question about God, a random question, or even a silly one. These cards are anonymous.”
There were many questions I had that I was too shy to ask, so I was grateful to be able to ask them on paper. I took the index card and wrote my question: “Why is there an Old Testament?” and dropped it in the box. A few weeks later we had the Question Night I mentioned in my testimony and I got an answer.