Bible Reading: Romans 8: 15-17
For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16
IF YOU HAVE friends or classmates who are depressed to the point of thinking about suicide, there’s no doubt they have an extremely low view of their value and worth. They don’t consider their lives worth salvaging. They lack a sense of belonging, worthiness, and competence.
As you work to develop a relationship with your friends, you might want to help them through a Bible study that highlights how God sees us as lovable, valuable, and useful.
If you don’t feel confident leading your friends in a Bible study, your youth leader or pastor might be willing to help you. The goal of your Bible study and ongoing input into your friends’ lives should highlight three biblical truths:
God sees us as lovable, giving us a sense of belonging. Like everyone else, your friends need to sense they belong to someone. We gain our ultimate sense of belonging when we understand that God loves us unconditionally, just as we are. John 1:12 declares that when we received Christ, we became children of God. He accepted us as his sons and daughters and invites us to call him “Father, dear Father” (Romans 8:15).
God sees us as valuable, giving us a sense of worthiness. Our true worth as persons is proven by the fact that our loving God allowed Jesus Christ, his sinless Son, to die for our sins. Paul said, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5 :8). Your friend is worth the death of God’s Son.
God sees us as useful, giving us a sense of competence. Paul wasn’t bragging when he said, “1 can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need” (Philippians 4: 13). Paul simply saw himself as God sees him: gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit to serve God and others. God wants all believers to realize that he has given each of us specific physical, mental, and spiritual abilities and equipped us to use those abilities successfully. God is so confident in our competence that he has called us to fulfill his great commission (see Matthew 28:18-20).
Do you understand the importance of helping your friends see themselves through God’s eyes? A biblical understanding of our identity in Christ might be your friends’ lifesaver. The more your friends realize they are lovable, valuable, and useful to God, the less likely they will be to think life isn’t worth living.
REFLECT: Ask God for ways to share these truths with hurting friends
PRAY: Tell God that you are ready to help-and that you trust him to teach you how.