By Robert Green
4 lessons for high schoolers
This is an important time. Faith is tested. Friends are made and betrayed. Love is lost and found. Hormones rage. Temptations entice. Tempers flare. Tardiness matters. Classes count. Futures are forged.
So let me give you four lessons as you travel through school.
1) Anchor your identity in God.
Nothing will give you better confidence during this time of your life than being sure of who God says you are. You are not a machine or a robot. You are not a pebble in a rock pile. You are more than a student. You are more than an athlete. You are more than someone pursuing academic, athletic, or artistic accomplishments. You are His masterpiece. (Even with the awkward stuff of teenage years.) He loves you and delights in you.
2) Understand that high school is a mission field not a popularity contest.
God goes before you. You don’t have to be some preacher or teacher or evangelist. But don’t miss an opportunity to encourage someone who is down. Many times you will have moments to speak life into someone who is beaten, bruised and busted up by the tough stuff in life. Take notice. Speak up. Bring light.
3) Value connecting over achieving.
Winning and succeeding and attaining are important — and part of being human and happy. But they’re no substitute for connecting. Achievement, on it’s own is empty. I’ve never known anyone who has failed at relationships, who was unconnected and lonely, yet also full of joy. Nope. Not one.
I’ve also never known anyone who succeeded at relationships, developed good friendships, was devoted to family, mastered the art of giving and receiving love, but had a bad life.
People who give themselves to people, who have friends they can laugh with, weep with, fight with, dance with, live and love, give and receive, grow up with, and even grow old with are people who flourish.
4) Do hard things.
Can you think of an instance when God gave someone an easy assignment? When did God ever intervene and say to someone, “I have a task for you. It’s not going to be very hard and it won’t cost you any energy or time”? He never said, “I’ve done the hard part, now you go into the world and have successful careers, live comfortably in climate-controlled homes, lounge in La-Z-Boys, lie in adjustable beds with memory foam mattresses, and block out the world with noise-canceling headphones.”
An over-commitment to comfort will cause you to miss out on a bunch of the adventure God has for you! This world is full of catchy slogans, bright lights, and well-worn paths. Choose to walk in the way that leads to the greater adventures of serving in love.
Robert Green is the senior pastor at Fondren Church. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org