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    Biblical Studies Journal Volume 1, Number 7

    June 1, 1997

    Just for Teens

    To live the kind of life that glorifies God is not an easy task. An even harder task is to live a godly life as a teenager. You have quite a job.

    1. Encouragement
    2. Spiritual Growth
    3. Dating
    4. Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure
    5. More Than Survival

    1. Encouragement

    Even though living a Godly life can be tough, never let that be a discouragement to you; for you also have unique opportunities during your teenage years that will never occur later in life--opportunities to really stand out for your God.

    "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe" (I Timothy 4:12).
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    2. Spiritual Growth

    One of the most important quests in life is to grow closer to God, to have a greater faith, to be more spiritual.

    A Decision

    Before one can consider spiritual growth, one must decide to follow Christ. This faith that saves involves repenting, confessing that Jesus is the Son of God, and being baptized into Christ.

    Continued Growth

    After the decision has been made to be a Christian, one is called by God to grow in the faith. Not only is this a calling, but a Christian wants to grow closer and closer to the God who provided salvation.

    Fellowship Is Vital

    One of the most important means of spiritual growth for you as a teenager is fellowship.

    In fact, because peer pressure can be so great during these years, fellowship may be the most important way in which your Christianity is reinforced in your life.

    Prayer Is Vital

    A Christian must live a life of prayer. Why Christians sometimes neglect this blessing is a mystery itself.

    Bible Study Is Vital

    A Christian should desire to know what God wants. The fact that God has revealed himself to us in writing is a tremendous blessing.

    If you want to face the temptations of teenage living in a way that is appropriate, you must have a firm grasp of the Scriptures. If not, you will be more likely to fall when confronted by sin.

    Worship Is Vital

    Another vital area to help facilitate growth in faith is the worship of God. Not only are the singing, praying, giving, scripture reading, and preaching facilitators of edification and learning, but also the Lord's Supper itself, taken in a manner pleasing to God, is described as a means of spiritual healthiness: "For this reason many of you are weak and sick, and a number sleep" (I Corinthians 11:30).
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    3. Dating

    As with all areas of life, you as a Christian teenager have an obligation to God to date in a manner worthy of Christ.

    The World Is in Darkness

    The world does not get much deeper in the darkness than in the areas of male and female relationships.

    The media, the schools, your peers, and (in some cases) your parents have become far too loose in these matters. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by the darkness. They are wrong.

    Being legalistic in these matters is not good enough, either. Many times you hear that "as long as you do not actually fornicate, everything is all right." Do not believe that lie. God has called His people to purity. Jesus even said that, "Everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Any sexual activity outside of marriage is sin.

    An Opportunity To Shine

    In the area of dating, therefore, you have one of your greatest opportunities to be distinctive for God. If you are willing to make a stand, you will be blessed, and you will never know the good you may do for someone else by being determined to live correctly.

    "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).
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    4. Self-Esteem and Peer Pressure

    The self-esteem statistics among your peers are very alarming. Not only is self-esteem at an all-time low, but it continues to fall throughout high school and even into college.

    Maintaining Good Self-Esteem

    The first thing you must do to maintain (or recover) good self-esteem is to remember that you were created in the image of God. You are His creation, and He loves you.

    Secondly, remember that you are worth so much that God sent His only Son to die for you.

    A third help in the maintaining of good self-esteem is helping others. Amazingly, when one is trying to improve someone else's self-esteem, his own goes up rapidly.
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    Peer Pressure

    There is no doubt in the world that you are under pressure to drink alcohol, to use illegal substances, to be sexually active, to cheat, to be disrespectful to your parents, and (in whatever other ways) to disappoint God. You do not have to give into the pressure, however.

    God Is on Your Side

    Remember that God is on your side; it is Satan who is against you. If you are developing your relationship with God, you will be amazed at the strength you will have to overcome temptation.

    Choose Friends Wisely

    Also important are the friends you choose. If someone consistently has a bad influence on you, you need to have the courage to stay away from that person. "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals"' (I Corinthians 15:33).
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    5. More Than Survival

    One bothersome philosophy you may have heard is, "I just hope my teenager survives his teenage years." That is a cop-out on the part of such a parent.

    As a teen, you can do more than just survive. You have the abilities and the knowledge to make a real difference in this world, especially among your peers.

    Be encouraged that there are people on your side who will help when you are down or troubled. But once again, be encouraged by the fact that God wants you to succeed, and He will help you to spread His will among all.
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