Never Too Young For Godly Living!
by Marie Grossett 4/01/2010 / Teen Issues
"I just got saved accepted Jesus as my saviour and now I can receive the inheritance of eternal life, how cool. I'm still young though and I need to have fun surely God can understand that. I mean I must still be able to continue to go out to the nightclubs and bars, see my friends and have a good time.
The answer is once you have accepted Jesus as your saviour your life is no longer your own. You are required to live holy Godly lives and follow biblical principles, and that means not doing the things that you use to do such as going to the nightclubs, bars, getting purposely drunk, listening to ungodly music that may have bad language, and having sex outside of marriage. 1 Thessalonians 4 Vs 7 says 'For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his spirit.'
In Jeremiah 1 Vs 5 - 7says '"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.' Now God called Jeremiah to be a prophet for the people in Jerusalem and Judah, however Jeremiah did not want this assignment and this was his response to God regarding this calling on his life, "Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak I am only a child." Jeremiah was saying to the Lord. 'Lord I can't be a prophet, I don't know what to do and besides I'm too young for this calling.' But God says 'Do not say, I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.' God is saying to Jeremiah I have called you to be a prophet and it doesn't matter about your age. This is the plan I have for your life and this is what I require you to do. God didn't give Jeremiah any special treatment because he was young. God commanded him to fulfil this calling and Jeremiah knew that he had to obey God's command. Once you accept Jesus as your Saviour God will not give you any special treatment because you are young. He requires you to put his word into practice, to live the holy life He has called you to live.
The word 'holy' refers to being separated, set apart to the service of God; righteous, pure; god-like.
I accepted Christ as my Saviour at a young age. I can understand that you maybe finding it difficult to live a holy life because of your age. Especially if you go to college or secondary school and you are constantly surrounded by people who are doing or talking about ungodly things, and because you do not participate in their activities they think that you're weird or boring. They will also tell you that you should start 'Living a little' or 'You're too young life is short, have some fun.' Their right about one thing life is short. In all honesty you are never too young to die. When I got people telling me that 'I'm too young, I must start having some fun,' or 'I am boring' I would say I rather be boring and go to heaven where there would be everlasting peace and happiness than join the crowd and go to hell where there is everlasting torment and torture.
But the truth is with some of your friends most of them wish that they had what you have. Most of them want to be different as you are but they are so concerned about what other people think of them they do not want to take that step in getting to know God. Pat yourself on the back that through God's help you took that step in getting to know him despite of what others may think or say about you. Just to help you along further here is an short in depth understanding of what it is meant to live 'holy' and what it requires.
The Sanctification Process - Once you made the decision to give your life to Christ the Holy Spirit beings to sanctify you and he also cleanses you through his Word.
John 17 Vs 17 says 'Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.' And Romans 15 Vs 16 says 'Sanctified by the Holy Spirit'. The sanctification process is a continual process. A good definition of sanctification is found on the www.thefreedirectory.com website and it means to make holy. You have to begin to turn away from sin, turn away from your ungodly past and start living a brand new life in Christ. As a young person admittedly at first it is difficulty leaving behind the activities that you're so use to, you may start having thoughts of what your friends or family may think of you, and how they treat you. You will experience isolation from others as they will not understand what you are doing, however the wonderful thing you will see is the change within yourself how you use to be and where God has brought you from, which is your sanctification process. The things that you use to do you want to do them no more, you want to start living for God and you will have a more fulfilled and purposed life.
I will not pretend to you and say that I didn't feel lonely and that I didn't miss my friends especially being a young adult; however God will bring new Christian friends your way. Churches have youth groups and activities which will be fantastic for you to get involved in and it is a great way for you to meet new people and make friends. At least now you will have friends that you will have something in common with.
You maybe thinking what about my friends that I use to hang out with does that mean I stop communicating with them completely? No. Remember they need to come to know God and as scripture says 'How can they hear without a preacher', you're aim will be to witness to them about Christ not just through speech but through action, meaning the way you live. If they don't listen just pray for them. However remember that you are not to be caught up in the ungodly things that they do as you are now a light shining in the darkness. 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone away the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5 Vs 17.
A renewed mind - Holy living requires you to change your thinking pattern. Now you are in God's family you have to start thinking his thoughts, you do that by putting his word into practice. For example if a person who was very close to you done you something, which really hurt your feelings straight away the thought that would most likely come to you would be to take revenge, and to make matters worst you may feel peer pressured by your friends to take revenge on that particular person.
However now you are a child of God your thought pattern would need to change from taking revenge into forgiveness. As the Bible says 'To love your enemies,' 'Forgive those who persecute you,' and 'You overcome evil with Good.'
Not taking revenge on someone that wronged you despite what your friends may say does not make you weak. In fact it makes you strong as you managed to have self control which is actually one of the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5 Vs 22 says 'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Not only that you managed to resist the temptation of not 'getting your own back' on somebody else and overcame the strategy of the devil. When Jesus was dying on the cross he said 'Forgive them Father.' Those who had severely beaten him, mocked him, and wanted him to die, he thought about forgiveness rather than punishing them. Not easy I know but you must renew your mind set in order to live the Holy Godly life that God called you to live, and to grow spiritual matured despite the fact you are young, and remember the Holy Spirit will help you.
Before I accepted Jesus as my saviour I use to gossip, I loved gossiping about other people. Now the Bible says that 'A gossip breaks confidence beware of the person that talks to much,' and 'Let wholesome talk come out of our mouths.' I was in workplaces where people loved to gossip and when someone came to me gossiping about somebody rather than talk to them back about the person, I would say 'maybe you should tell them how you feel', or 'I don't know that person so I can't make a judgement on them'. This was difficult to do, as I felt tempted to join in with the gossip, but now I am in the family of God I needed to change my thoughts and let go of the old habits.
It is important that you mediate on God's word and put into practice what He says. You should not be just 'Hearers' of the word but also 'Doers'.
Scriptures that you should meditate and memorise on that tell you about the renewal of your mind would be:Romans 12 Vs 2, which is the above scripture that you read, which reads 'Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.'Romans 8 Vs 6 -8 which says "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace..So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
Philippians 4 Vs 8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praise-worthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me put it into practice. And the peace of God be with you."
Ephesians 4 Vs 22 says: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
These are just to start you off with as you study the word of God for yourselves you may find other scriptures that you should memorise concerning the renewal of your mind set and put it into practice.
Christ Like Attitudes - Your attitude has to be Christ-like. You are to be imitators of the Lord.
Ephesians 5 Vs 1 says 'Be imitators of God therefore as dearly loved children.'
To imitate means to 'copy' or 'try to be like'. When you find yourself in a situation where it will be at college, school, home or in your personal surroundings and you do not know how to handle it ask yourself 'What would Jesus do in this situation.' Once you find out what He would do in that situation you are suppose to imitate it.
To be Christ-like is to know His character. When I got saved and I found out that Holy living also requires us to be Christ-like, I studied the gospels Matthew through to John and I wrote down how Jesus handled situations and I wrote down points about His character. I will share with you what I found out:
Jesus was obedient, as a young boy up until the time of his death on the cross he was obedient. Now you are a child of God you too must also be obedient especially to those that God has put in a position of authority over you such as your parents or teachers. Despite the fact that you are growing in a society where your peers may be disobedient to people who are in a position of authority. For example if your parents have told you to come home at a certain time, it's not for you to ignore their request it is for you to do as they say. Also if your teacher is expecting you to complete your homework on a certain date it is for you to complete your homework on that day. No you are not a 'teacher's pet' or 'a goody too shoes' you are portraying the character of Christ. Remember you are 'in the world but you are not of the world.'
Let's look at two examples in the Bible where Jesus was obedient as a boy and as a man. Luke 2 Vs 51 says 'Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.' The background of this scripture was when Jesus earthly parents was searching fanatically for him as they were unaware he was in the temple. When they eventually found him they explained to him they were worried as they thought that they lost him he told them 'Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house.' However Jesus left the temple and went with his parents, he was being obedient to his earthly parents command.
Matthew 26 Vs 39 says 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but you will.' The background of this scripture was when Jesus was praying in the garden of Gestheme the final hours before he was arrested. Noticed what he said 'Yet not as I will but you will.' As a grown man Jesus was being obedient to the mission that his Father gave Him. If Jesus was not obedient we would not have received the gift of eternal life. There is power in obedience, and this is something you have to put it practice and the more you put it into practice the more you would find yourself become obedient.
Jesus was non- attention seeking. I know that young people regularly seek attention; you crave to be noticed especially by the opposite sex. You may also try to impress your friends as they may have dared you to do something and because you want to fit in with the crowd and be noticed you do this dare even though you know it not a good thing to do.
I believe the most common way to try for teenage girls and young adult women to seek attention is by the outward appearance such as wearing heavy make up, or making for example, your school skirt shorter, or wearing tight revealing clothing. For teenage boys or young adult men it may be to portray this 'macho image', making out that you're 'untouchable.' It's sad that young people want to impress others than loving themselves for who they are. Well there is good news for you young born again Christian's Jesus loves you and there is no need anymore to try and impress your peers. God doesn't even expect you to impress him the way your peers may do. Yes He wants you to obey his command and live the life His called you to live, but he knows you have faults and He wants to help you to work through these faults, he knows you're not perfect yet he still loves you. You are beautiful in His eyes! What an amazing God. There is no need to keep on seeking attention or approval from your peers any longer you belong to God now.
An example in the Bible where Jesus did not seek attention is in Mark 1 Vs 40 -44 it reads 'A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees. "If you are willing you can make me clean." Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning; "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go and show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."
Now through research I found out that leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that attacks the nervous system and affects the hand, feet and face. If left untreated it can leave sufferers deformed or paralysed. In Jesus time people did not want to associate themselves with someone that had leprosy in case they caught the disease. But Jesus had compassion on the man and healed him, noticed what he said to the man after he healed him. "See that you don't tell this to anyone." Jesus done a wonderful thing he cured a man from a terrible disease and he did not want to claim any sort of attention for it, he did not need to impress anybody. He cured him because he wanted to and because he loved him. Now you to must be non-attention seeking you help people out of kindness and love, not because you want any sort of attention for it. Remember, 'There is no need to impress anybody.'
Jesus was non-judgemental. He spoke to people that religious leaders such as the Pharisees would look down upon and would not associate themselves with them. They were the 'outcast' at that time. He spoke to prostitutes, tax collectors, and adulterers.
If you are in school, college, university or even in the workplace I know that you can be surrounded by people that are very judgemental. People can be judged by the way they look this type of judgement happens a lot in colleges and universities. You could even judge someone because your friend may have said something about that person and you take your friend's viewpoint rather that speaking to the person yourself. A situation happened to me when I was hanging out with my peers and I ended up not speaking to a particular girl because a friend at the time told me horrible things that happened between them. Rather than listen to the other's person's side of the story I ended up making a judgement about them. It also didn't help when the person I hanged out with at the time said that 'if anyone speaks to her they are no friend of mines.'
If I had known then what I know now I would have told the person that I hanged out with that I can't make a judgement on girl because I don't know them well enough for myself, and what happened between you two is between you two and not me and if I do see them I will speak to them. You to must not make judgements on anybody despite what your friends may say you don't have to conform to what anyone tells you apart from God. Rather than judge someone get to know them it's your job to show the person the love of Jesus, despite what people may say. Jesus himself was treated differently by the religious leaders when they saw him speaking to the 'outcasts' of his time. It made him less popular with them but that did not matter to him. His mission was to 'save the lost,' not to be popular.
Matthew 7 Vs 1- 5 says: 'Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.'
Jesus was non-argumentative, and by that I mean he wasn't looking to pick up a fight with anybody. It was people who came to Him wanting to challenge Him. Matthew 16 Vs 1 4 says: 'The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show him a sign from heaven.' In the first part of this scripture we get a sense that the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus wanting to purposely start an argument they came to challenge Him, the scripture then goes on to read 'He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be a fair weather for the sky is red, and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy for the sky is red, and overcast. 'You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for miraculous sign, but none will be given it expect for the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.
Jesus gave them clear precise answer, and I believe that He did not speak to them in a harsh tone rather He spoke in a calm and gentle tone, as Isaiah 42 Vs 2 says 'He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.' In this passage of scripture Isaiah was prophesying about Jesus. Also notice at the end of this portion of scripture it says 'Jesus then left them and went away,' He humbly took himself away from their presence in order to avoid and cause conflict.
You to must be non-argumentative do not be quick to answer anyone back especially your parents as this only leads to anger, frustration and upset. If you are purposely challenged by a peer at school or in your social surroundings stay calm do not be quick to react, think about what that person is challenging you about and speak to them in a calm and gentle tone, scripture says, 'A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stirs up anger.'
2 Timothy 2 Vs 23 says 'Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.'
Jesus was humble. I looked at the definition of humble on the www.freedirectory.com website and it says 'humble is marked by meekness or modesty behaviour, attitude or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.' One of the examples that Jesus showed His humble character would be in John 18 Vs 22-23 this reads 'When Jesus said this, one of the officials near by struck Him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded. "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me? "Wow is that humbleness or what! Most of us would react if someone struck us in the face. The first thing we would want to do is it them back. But not Jesus instead of reacting He remained humbled, He even reasoned with the official by saying 'If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong.'
It is important that you to show a humble character. For example if you've done something wrong to someone don't be too proud to apologise, despite what your friends may say.' Scripture says 'Those who exalt themselves will be humbled; those who humble themselves will be exalted.'
Other characteristics of Jesus were that He showed love to all He came across and as a child of God this is the most important attribute that is required of you. Matthew 22 Vs 37-40 says 'Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself.'
One example of how Jesus showed love was that he was kind to people. You would have already read during this section of the article on how he was kind to people, i.e. He spoke to people that no one else wanted to speak to, and he never judged anybody.
You to must show love to people around you whether you're at school, college, university, or work. One of the ways that you can show love to people is by following Jesus example and being kind to people. 1 Corinthians 12 Vs 4 says 'love is patient, love is kind.' (I recommend that you read the rest of this scripture as it tells you the other attributes of love). To be kind means to be friendly, caring, and sympathetic. When was the last time you showed kindness to somebody? When was the last time you helped somebody even if no one else wanted to? Love is not just a saying word you show love by your actions. By showing love your peers especially now that we are living in a time when people are loveless people will see and notice your Christ like attitude even more so, as scripture says, 'This is when people will know that you are my disciples when you have love one for the other.' Jesus was also bold within reason, and what I mean by that is He did not let people 'walk all over Him.' When he was challenged by the religious leaders he did stand up for himself. You are allowed to bold within reason, especially when it comes to Godly things. For example if your peers is telling you to 'bunk school', and you know that is not a good thing to do, rather than go along with their plan because you want to be kind to them, you are allowed to tell them 'No you are going to school.' As you know that it is not a Godly thing to 'bunk school.' Now that is being bold and you have a reason to be bold.
These are just some of the characteristics of having a Christ like attitude as you read through the scriptures you could note down things about Jesus character that you could put into practice. As you put these principles into practice living God's way will become easier. Remember that God is with you, he will help you to be strong, and now it is all about living to please God not yourselves and it is not about what other people think of you no matter how close they are to you.
Let your mindset change from 'I'm too young' into 'I'm never too young' to do what God requires of me, and you will not be ashamed that you are living for God even if people around you do not understand it.
Marie Grossett aka Vanessa Grossett is a published Author, and has interviewed best selling and award winning Christian Authors.