Secrets You Should NOT Keep

Trust is a very important quality in a friend. We often will tell friends things that are important to us but that we do not want others to know. It is good to have friends with which you can share fears, hopes, and dreams. However, we must be careful of some secrets that others want us to keep. There are some secrets that we must not keep.

If a person says they are going to harm other people or themselves, we must try to stop the violence. You may need to tell a teacher, principal, or parent depending on the situation. I had a friend tell me that he took too much medicine one time when he was trying to hurt himself. I told someone in charge at our school and they were able to make sure that the medicine would not hurt him and try to help him not hurt himself in the future.

An important secret that you must not keep is any secret that an adult wants you to keep from your parents. It does not matter if that adult is a relative (like an uncle, aunt, cousin, or grandparent), an elder, preacher, church teacher, school teacher, principal, or any other adult.

Please listen to me:  a responsible adult will never say or do anything to you that they would not want your parents to know about. A caring and concerned adult would never say that they will hurt you, your parents, or a brother or sister if you tell your parents something you saw, heard, or something that happened to you. You do need to tell your parents. An adult who would say such things is likely trying to cover up something they are doing wrong; in fact, they are scared of your parents finding out. If you tell your parents—and you should—they will protect you, your brothers and sisters, and themselves and will be able to handle the problem. Please trust your parents, not the person who would try to scare you. Talk to your parents about this and you will see that what I am saying is true. You will not be a tattle-tale if you tell your parents; you will be doing the right thing.

What Do You Do For Fun?

Author Unknown

Several years ago a Christian girl told me about an incident with a young man who had been trying to date her. He was not a member of the church, and they just did not have anything in common. She had turned him down twice and now she had said “no” to attending a rock concert with him. In a kind of mock exasperation, the young man asked, “What do you do for fun?  You don’t dance, you don’t drink, you don’t attend rock concerts. What do you do for fun?”

She replied, “For fun, I get up in the morning without feeling embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about what I did the night before.” The young man had nothing more to say. She was right; it is not fun to feel guilty for your actions the night before. There are many things in life that are fun. For example, the Christian girl is now married to a fine Christian man. They have a little girl and are building an outstanding Christian home together. Think of the fun she is having.

She is having fun every day living without the scars of fornication, drugs, alcohol, or regrets from her past. She is having fun getting ready each afternoon to receive a husband home from work; knowing that he will not be stopping off at the local bar for a few drinks with his friends. She is having fun knowing that her little girl will never see her father in a drunken stupor or experimenting with drugs. She is having fun knowing that while he is away from her, his Christian conduct will not allow infidelity or even flirting. She is having fun watching him hold his little girl on his lap with loving, protective arms. She is having fun living with the assurance that the home will be led by a spiritual leader who will guide each family member towards heaven.

The list of fun things for the Christian is endless.

What do you do for fun?

Taking Sermon Notes

I really am happy when I see young people listening to me when I preach. I know that sometimes things can be hard to understand, but I am happy that they are trying to listen. When I am listening to someone else preach, I always take notes. I want to remember what the preacher said so I can learn from it later. We often forget what we hear if we do not write it down. How can you take notes?

Copy Words from the Screen
The preacher will often put important thoughts on a screen behind him. You can copy these thoughts down and remember the main things that he was talking about. Sometimes he may change them quickly. Do not worry, just do your best and start copying down the thoughts on the next screen. Even if you get a little bit from every screen, you will have words that might help you remember the lesson.

Copy Down Bible Verses
When the preacher mentions a Bible verse, copy it down in your notebook and then turn to it in the Bible. If he mentions a lot of verses, just do your best to write down as many of the verses as you can remember. You can always look up the Bible verses at home if you want to learn more about the lesson.

Copy Down Your Thoughts
Sometimes when I am listening to a sermon, I will hear something that will make me think of how I can serve God better. I will also write those things down. You can write down ideas you get from the sermon and ways that you can do what the Bible says you should do. For example, if the preacher is talking about loving one another, you might write down, “I need to be kind to my brother and sister” even though the preacher did not talk about how to treat your family.

Keep Listening
As I said before, sometimes you may not understand exactly what the preacher is saying all the time. But, most of the time you will be able to understand and everything you learn will help you learn more later. So keep listening and as you grow, you will know more and more about the Bible and what God wants you to do.

I Was Just Teasing!

How would you feel if someone started calling you bad names?  What if they made fun of your clothes or your friends?  Would you like it if they made fun of the way you play sports, talk, or your hair?  I think all of us are hurt, and sometimes
angry, when someone makes fun of us or teases us.

We need to remember how bad it feels so we do not tease or make fun of other people.  Some people in school, at church, or in our neighborhood are easy to make fun of.  Maybe they don’t look like everyone else or have some things that everyone else has.  Of course, God made us all different and we should be proud of our differences.  But we should never make jokes about other people.  Jesus said we should treat others as we want to be treated (Matt. 7:12).

In fact, the Bible goes further to say that we should treat others better than ourselves, Philippians 2:3.  This means that we should treat ourselves well and treat others even better.  We must show love towards our enemies, Matthew 5:44.

How can you love someone who makes fun of you or is mean to you?  First, you pray for that person to change, not only so they will leave you alone but that they would learn to be like Jesus. 

Secondly, do not make fun of them because they made fun of you.  Have you ever seen a fight with just one person?  Don’t let another person draw you into the meanness of calling one another names. Ignore them. Let them know by your
example that you will not stoop to their level. They will often be mad that you won’t say bad things back to them. They also get mad because they are not getting you mad!  They will be the ones who look bad, not you.

Finally, remember that people who make fun of other people, deep down, do not love themselves. A person who feels very good about himself will not feel any need to bring others down to make himself look better.  Feel sorry for the person that thinks so little of himself that he has to bring you down to feel good.

I would beg you, as ones who love God, to especially avoid teasing people whom you go to church with.  It is sad to see young people who are supposed to love God, saying such mean things to and about one another, teasing others, or keeping others out of “their group.”  We are all trying to go to heaven and we need one another.  Speak words that build one another up.  Do not destroy someone with your words, Galatians 5:14-15.

Taking God’s Love With You To School

It will not be long before most of you will go back to school and many have already returned.  I hope you had a fun summer.  When you return to school you need to take some godly principles with you.  They will help you do what is right and strengthen your relationship with God.

Start every day with prayer.  You do not have to say a very long prayer about everything you need to pray about, but start the day asking for God’s help with all that you will face that day.  Ask Him to help you with difficult people and your school work.  During the day and at evening, keep praying to God and, during those times, pray for all who need your prayers. Our family prays together before going to work and school and it is a great way to start the day.

School Backpack with school supplies on white background

Remember your example.  People will judge your relationship to God and the way of Christ by what you wear, how you talk, and how you treat other people.  Remember that all you do is seen by God and by others.  If you say or do something you should not do, tell the person you are sorry.  You will teach them the importance of repentance.  You have a great opportunity to teach others about God but you must live a good life that shows you believe what you are saying.

Remember God’s love.  Some people may be unkind or mean to you..  Some that you thought were your friends may not act like friends.  I know it makes you sad but remember that God loves you, your family loves you, and other people love you.  It would be great if people never treated you badly but it is a part of life.  However, there are people who do love you and will love you no matter what you can or cannot do.  Of course, God always loves you and cares about you.

Do your work.  It is tough to do our homework when we want to play video games or watch endless funny videos.  However, we need to learn responsibility.  Sometimes we have to say “no” to something we want to do  in order to finish something we have to do.  I like to promise myself a reward when I do something I have to do, but might not want to do.  For example, if I finish my homework, then I can play video games for an hour.  This makes me want to finish my homework quickly and I won’t have to worry about playing video games too long and forgetting to do the homework, getting in trouble, etc.

I’m sure you will do great this school year.  Remember, do your best, obey your teachers, and love to learn.

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