Over the past few weeks I’ve experienced some of the toughest issues in my life first-hand and it’s not pretty. How can we as Christians survive in a world so sin-ridden and soiled? It’s definitely not an easy thing to not be affected by the world’s, the flesh’s and the devils poison. Here are few examples that have troubled me;
Self Image – (“it’s not the inside that counts”)
“I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw” – one of the most popular phrases for people today, especially the “youth” – those who put face value as the most important thing in their lives. It’s so true though, most of us don’t like the way we look, for us lads we strive for a muscular frame, coupled with a big sporting lifestyle and a girl by side. For some, getting there can take the soul and song out of life. That little pot-belly, those not so defined muscles, those ugly braces, glasses, bad hair day, bad face day – bad body day. I’m saying it straight – we can all sometimes hate the way we look. In the end it’s all centred around acceptance with ourselves and those around us – “If I get larger pecs, I’ll be respected more” and we can go so far as to say “I don’t want to be a Christian stiff!” It’s true, none of us want to be alone, left out in the cold and be seen as a loser. But the question to ask is – what, as Christians, is our true purpose in life? Is it to be accepted by men, or by God?
Sexual Purity – (“you’re on the losing side”)
Sexual Purity is a big subject, and one which everyone can be a bit scared to talk about. Lately, a few of us had the courage to talk seriously about it and I think we all benefited from it. We all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, some just can’t get away from the desires that plague their mind – and it seems as if the whole world is against us, which in a matter of fact, is true. In the end, it’s a place we all fall in and there are a few books we should all read:
- Sex is not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
- Every Young Man’s/Woman’s Battle
It’s a tough battle – but don’t give up!
People Pleasing – (“if only you were perfect”)
People pleasing….argh!!!!! This is so crazy and so applicable to most of us – it ties probably every problem in a young teens life into one thick rope. We all strive to please people even if it means sacrificing certain things. It’s one thing being a pleasant person (which is a good thing) but it’s another thing being a people pleaser – implying that it is one’s job to people please. “I need to please my parents/teacher/friends/pastor/boss/enemies/girlfriend/boyfriend etc. – but there’s one thing we’ve missed – what about being a God pleaser? We’re so busy to please others, we forget what we’re meant to be doing; pleasing our Creator and King.
Bible Debt – (“someone hasn’t read their Bible today!”)
I continually forgot to read my Bible and subsequently I fell into depression, my life seemed to have gone into reverse, I felt as if I had let God/me/mum and dad/everyone down. This was my experience this week and it wasn’t pleasant.
I recently heard a famous Christian minister say that he isn’t inclined towards daily Bible readings – why? Because so many Christian go into spiritual depression because of “Bible Debt”. It’s a horrible feeling, you’re going through Bible In a Year and you miss one day, so you say “I’ll read it tomorrow”, tomorrow comes and you manage to read yesterday’s passage but don’t have time to read today’s. Slowly but surely the debt builds up and up and up and then you literally feel as if there’s a black cloud overhead condemning you fro forgetting to read your Bible.
Take comfort in the fact that nowhere in the Bible does it say you must read the Bible everyday. Yes, it is constructive and it needed for growth but it’s not something to get beat up about if you miss a day. If you do miss a day, miss it and go back to it when you can. The minister suggested that the best form of meditation is to go over what the minister has preached on Sunday and think about it and apply it to your own life. Also, get next weeks passage and meditate on that so you have some sort of understanding before the pastor gives you God’s insight!
There are plently more, but that’s a taster. Won’t be long before I find something else to talk about!