Friday, March 4, 2011

Teen Devotion: The Dirty Side Of The Fence


It's comfortable staying on the side of the fence that's clean. All we have to do is pray, spend time with God, follow all of His standards so that we don't end up like the world, and fellowship with our Christian friends. Because if we mix with the crowds that aren't Christian, then we'll get our hands dirty. And we definitely don't want to get our clean hands dirty.

Unfortunately this is a very common thinking pattern of many Christian teens. But it's not the thinking pattern of a loving God. There's more to being a Christian teen than staying in your comfort zone, not daring to go on the other side of the fence and get your hands dirty by reaching out to the sinful world.

And this is probably the biggest turn-off to the non-believing teens. They see a group of Christians huddled together on the clean side of the fence with their Bibles in their hands, as if for some reason the fact that they know Christ has given them the power to be "holier" than others and the right to judge them.

This isn't how to spread the light. This isn't how God has called us to spread love.

Yes, Christians are supposed to be set apart. But not so much that we create a clique with such high standards that we don't dare communicate with those outside of our circle, in fear that we will have to stoop too low.

We aren't higher than those who don't know God, so how can we stoop too low?

The Bible does say that we should not be unequally yoked, but we can communicate God's love and acceptance with the unsaved without having to become their closest friend. And there are some people who aren't Christians who don't exactly live a sinful lifestyle either. So there are ways that you can show love and light without having to become a part of them and their lifestyle.
The view that the non-Christians see should be the light of God shining in us. This light should attract them and draw them in. If we're all huddled tightly together in your own self-righteous clique, the light is not able to shine for others to see. The only thing showing is your backsides.

If us Christian teens are all about following God and doing what Jesus did, then why aren't we doing what Jesus did? Why aren't we talking with sinners, showing acceptance to prostitutes, going out into the real world to reach out and spread the gospel like Jesus did? No, that doesn't mean we should befriend all of them. But that also doesn't mean that we should ignore them, gossip and look down on them - hoping that one day they'll magically want to be a Christian just like us. No, this has just the opposite effect and it's what gives Christianity a bad reputation.

This is a problem I've seen with many Christian teens.

And it's not right. This is not the type of label that God intended for us to have.

Love. That's the label that we should have.

Talk with people outside of your Christian circle in school. This doesn't mean you have to be like them. It's possible to talk with non-Christians and not suddenly have your Christianity dampened. This is simply part of the Christian life: sharing the gospel, spreading love to the broken and to the sinners. Maybe invite them to your youth group. Whatever God is tugging on your heart for you to do.

And stop judging those who are on the dirty side of the fence, just because they're living in sin. You don't know what they've been through. You don't know the type of home that they've grown up in. Instead of judging, why not love? Instead of turning nonbelievers off from Christianity by the way you stay only on the clean side of the fence, why not go over to the other side and get your hands dirty like Jesus did by coming down to earth?

Why not create a new label and show the true meaning of having a relationship with Christ?

Because those who weren't raised in church only know Christianity based off of you and your friends.

You may be the only Bible they ever read.

Show them that Christianity isn't a religion that's all about staying within the circle of believers and following rigid rules. Show them that it's not a boring type of lifestyle that forces you to wear clothes that are not in style, or to listen only to music that has the word "Gospel" on it's label and judge others who don't do the same. Because that's "religion". There are many religions out there in the world for them to choose from. But having a relationship with Christ is more than just a religion.

God has called us to be the light of the world! We can't do that if the only place we're shining our lights are in our little circle of church buddies.

So take Jesus' example.

Go out into the sinful world and get your clean hands dirty - Jesus' blood has already been shed to cleanse the dirt.

Show love to the sinners without judging them.

Our youth culture needs Christ now, and it's our job to lead them.




PS: Don't forget to enter my "Me, Just Different" by Stephanie Morrill giveaway!

5 comments:

  1. Absolutely! Completely agree! Awesome, awesome post, Tessa! :)

    Katie

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  2. I agree with every word you said. Definitely a great post!

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  3. Excellent! You inspire me!

    Beth E.

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  4. Let us pray for leaders of the harvest who are not afraid to lead the more timid among us out to the fields for the harvest. Pray for more workers, for the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. And let us go out to the harvest singing and dancing in worship and praise for He who gives the increase.

    Thanks for this post, if we are worried about getting our hands dirty, then let us ask for gloves ...

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