No…I’m not talking about getting your paper, pencils, backpack, or clothes. Are you ready for the new school year. It will be a year of great opportunities but also challenges. Whether in school or when we’re older, we are often challenged to defend who we are.
Pressure from others to conform to their accepted standards is sometimes open and forceful such as bullying or taunting. The pressure is exerted to press someone to conform to a standard or punishment for ignoring or rebelling against the standard.
Pressure may be subtle such as avoiding someone or talking about them. Ignoring sends clear signals of rejection of the behavior and may be more painful than bullying.
What should a godly teen do?
- Following the principle to “esteem others better than self” (Philippians 2:1-10), godly teens should never be involved in bullying, taunting, gossiping, or ignoring others. Every soul is precious in God’s sight and we should see their value as well.
- Jesus was a friend to the friendless. So many people want to do great things for the world: cure diseases, save the planet, make changes in government, etc. You can do something greater in someone’s world by being a friend to them. You might be the person who helps them find the answers to the big questions in life they are looking for or to be that friend in their greatest hour of need. Very likely, they will be the friend who will stick by you when others might forsake you.
- Embrace your uniqueness! Do you really want to be just like everyone else? When you live as a child of God you reject the foolish and life damaging choices that so many of your “wise” friends make. They will think you are foolish for not following in the path of destruction but the wise will avoid their folly (1 Peter 4:1-5; Psalm 1)
- Stand proud and thank God if you are persecuted for your faith because you are in good company. The apostles, prophets, and Jesus Himself was mistreated because of their dedication to God. Pray for them that they may become wise (Matthew 5:10-16; 1 Peter 4:12-19)
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (ESV)