Tuesday, August 10, 2010
~ "Sticks and stones..."
Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Tim 4:11-12)
When I was young, whenever someone would make fun of me, or tease me, or ridicule me or any of my friends, we had a phase we would retaliate with: "Sticks and stones may brake my bones, but names will never hurt me." Unfortunately, names and words sometimes hurt more than sticks and stones because they cut deep and leave scars unseen by the eyes of men.
It is very difficult for the young people of today (or any day, for that matter) to be accepted among their peers as prayer warriors, followers of Christ and believers who walk in the word. It's not the "cool" thing to do (sorry, young people, but I'm not really up to speed on what word you would use here - so I'm going with one from my generation). Some teenagers and young adults need to "fit" into the world - they don't want to be laughed at or made fun of, so they have a tendency to conform to fit into their circle of friends. Its easy for us (as mature adults) to sit back and tell them they need to live their own lives and not worry about what other people will say or think of them. Easier said than done. We all strive for the approval of our peers, no matter how old we are. We continue to associate with the same people who have used us, tormented us, and shunned us at times because we weren't quite at their level (be it higher or lower - in their opinion, that is). Its frustrating to watch someone continue to associate with people you know have no respect for them and try to be a "part of" that group of individuals who truly have nothing nice to say about them and include them only so that they have someone to talk about or laugh about.
In Paul's letter to Timothy, he reminds him that "godliness has value for all things". The words we speak, the phrases we use, do define the person we are. Our actions do speak louder than words as well. It's not easy to be a teenager or young adult in today's society, but it is possible to be a godly teenager or young adult! Choose your words wisely, choose your friends wisely and your choices will be many, because God will bless you throughout your lives. Be the one who has the opportunity to say "I started it,...before it was all the cool new thing." Be a champion - for Christ!