(me in college my senior year with a young girl I met a production shoot!)
So it was on my heart to do a blog about this. I've heard from so many of you that are struggling in College or High School to live for Christ in the midst of a generation that could CARE less about living for God. The people I'm referring to are those that "grew up" in the church. Sadly, most church youth programs tend to focus their energies on providing entertainment and pizza rather focusing on building up the young people in their faith. As a result, our teens are NOT equipped to face the challenges they will encounter in the world upon leaving home. SO then you throw them together with a bunch of coeds that live a few feet away .. what do you THINK is going to happen?! Their hormones are raging and they'll try the first thing that presents itself.
However, there are some of you that REALLY have a strong desire and hunger to live for Christ in the midst of the parties, drinking and sex. Those are the people I'm talking to today. I want you to know that you're not alone. I want you to know that you're so special and so valued by Christ Himself. God has SET you apart so you cannot hang with just ANYBODY. The plans HE has for you are beautiful and even if you messed up.. turn away from your mess ups & turn your heart back to Christ. He has a plan for our many mess-ups.
So while in college, there's a ton of parties, drinking and the Christian crowd seems few & far between. THEN, most of the Christians you know are most likely at the party, drunk or staying the night at their boyfriends house. (hey, I was one of them for at least two years in college.)
So how do you live for Him?
1. Recognize that your value comes from CHRIST alone. You don't need to please anyone or allow anyone to pressure you to do things that you KNOW you should be doing. If you have to do all those things to get someone to like you--you'll have to do those things to GET someone to continue to like you. What a horrible, dysfunctional relationship. LOVE gives the advantage--it doesn’t take it. Friends don’t use you & try to keep the advantage & manipulate you. If you have friends that think you need to act or do things a certain way in order for them to like or approve of you—they’re NOT your friends. I would rather be LONELY then with a bunch of pretend friends. And if you are lonely.. the more time you spend with Christ.. the more fulfilled you will become. Don’t try to conform to the “popular” people to get them to like you. Your liked & LOVED by Christ. So watch out who is influencing you. Period.
2. Find a local church that teaches the word of God--correctly. Most campuses have "a church" where most college students attend. There, you'll meet a ton of great people.
3. Find out what Christian organizations are on your campus. Get involved! You'll meet a ton of people that really have a heart for Christ. Open up your heart to people with your TRUST in Jesus. Not everybody is out to get you and "everybody" shouldn't pay for whoever hurt you in your past.
4. SPEND time with GOD DAILY. PERIOD. If you scheduled yourself into an 8am class..wake up at 6am. Do what you have to do. He HAS to be first. I blogged about Spending Time w/ God. Check it out -------> here. GOD will show you the hearts of the people around you so you'll have no need of worrying about #3.
5. Cut off that boyfriend that's only interested in foundling you. Ok, maybe ya’ll don't go all the way, but you may as well. You have sex, but with your clothes on. Jesus Christ.. wants your heart & HE gets no glory in that.
6. I remember in High School, I my friends would pressure me to drink. I would go with them to the parties but I'd just be the designated driver. As an adult.. I don't even recommend going as that can place you in a position where you can get in trouble with the LAW by association. I wasn't saved in High School, but I refused to allow myself to let anything control me. Ephesians 5:18 "Don't be drunk with wine (or any other alcoholic beverages), because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit." Makes me think about my old classmate that was out at a party, was drinking too much & then the police tried to pull him over and he went into a high speed chase and crashed into a tree and died instantly. He was a good guy, breaks my heart to this day.
7. Yeah, it's COOL to be saved. People may think that you're a "religious" freak or WHATEVER but PEOPLE are going to THINK what they WANT to think about you. So, who cares!! Isaiah 2:22 says not to put your trust in humans because they are as frail as breath!! If you allow yourself to be controlled by people.. they will have you all stressed out, trying to read their mind! Guess what, they don't know who they are either! They're still trying to figure it out so what do they look like trying to tell you what you can do and cannot do & WHO you should be?! You don't have to go smashing Jesus in everybody's face, but let Him guide & lead you. There's so many hurting people that are your age that NEED HIM. So make living for Jesus look GOOD. People are looking for others to take a stand & lead. Let it start with you--ask God to show you how.
8. Sex...Sex...Sex. Let's talk about it. Hormones are raging, you're exciteddddd. Guess what? There's a 99% chance that you won't marry that person. So--you'll start the pattern of jumping from one person's bed to the next. SLOW down. When you get to know someone in a group setting—70% of the time, you wouldn’t dare get into a relationship with them in real life. So, slow down. Stop being led by your emotions. And STOP hanging out with those messy horny other teenagers. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: Do Not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
9. Joining Organizations. Before we get into the benefits of joining an organization--it's important to ask yourself why you want to join that organization. What is your focus? What is your motive? Are you joining to become popular & to show off to everyone your list of accomplishments that make you feel better about you? Remember, that our value comes from Christ alone. Not any “thing” we do. So if you’re going to join something—make sure God is leading you for the RIGHT reasons. You may say—“Heather, it doesn’t take all that”—I don’t know about you but I’m all about trusting God to make sure that I’m in the right geographical location at the right TIME.
10. Your parents. Ok. Your parents may drive you nuts BUT you may still be under their rules, household or bank account. You may think they don't know anything but they've been where you are & they've "done" all of that. Times HAVEN'T changed. It may be a new generation--but it's the same drama. So, respect, love & honor them. As you get older--you'll REALLY start to appreciate & love them on a whole new level. But why wait until then? Start now.
God loves you like crazy,
My new pinky promise tee! :) Cute right? You can order one here: