Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
May the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 3:12
JUST AS you’re ready to burst out the door from school, your volleyball coach swoops down and not-so-gently breaks the news that you weren’t elected team captain. Sure, you know it’s not the end of the world. But it is your last chance before you graduate. You feel bad enough that you contemplate skipping your Bible study group and numbing your pain with a gallon of ice cream. But you drag yourself to Bible study anyway.
When you tell your friends at Bible study what a loser you are, they not only make you stop trashing yourself but remind you how talented and helpful you are both at school and in the group. You leave the group knowing that you are loved, appreciated, and needed. You go away with a better picture of who you are.
Sound mushy? Maybe. But having friends who boost you when you’re down sure beats getting bludgeoned with insults and sarcasm.
The Bible informs you that God sees you as lovable, valuable, and competent. But that doesn’t mean that seeing yourself as God sees you is easy. Lots of young Christians look at themselves as defective specimens of God’s creation. They have difficulty accepting that God or anyone else really thinks they are worthwhile.
Getting around the right people is a great way to get God’s view of you. Here’s how:
Spend time with people who already know they are loved, valued, and useful to God and others. They’re good role models of your true identity-and they’re comfortable to be around because they are sure about their identity.
Get in a place where the people in charge clearly teach from the Bible the truth about your identity in Christ. You need to be around mature Christians who walk and talk your scriptural acceptance and worth in God’s eyes.
The coolest group you can be part of is one where consistent, loving care reinforces the truth of who God says you are. It may be a youth group, a Sunday school class, a Bible study group, or just a group of Christian friends who care about each other deeply. Wherever you find it, that’s an environment that can help you transform a self-image you don’t want to wallow in.
REFLECT: Are you part of a network of caring Christian relationships where people express love to one another, value one another, and serve one another in practical ways?
PRAY: Ask God to direct you to relationships where your true identity is modeled, taught, and experienced-and ask him to help you be that kind of influence for other believers.