“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12
I don’t think we realize what a big impact the little decisions we make, habits we create, and mannerisms we develop influence those around us. As youth, we are often told, “Be a leader and not a follower!” That sounds super inspiring until we step up and lead, but no one follows. You feel so alone.
I had one close friend in high school. She actually had just come to Christ! So it was such a lovely, encouraging relationship. But, as we approached the end of our Freshman year, I started to realize I was not her only friend at school. She had a circle of friends she hung out with that, although they were friendly, were not the best influences. This created some distance between us. I had a choice: Follow my friend and the crowd of rebellious teenagers or hang tight with Jesus and grow in Him. I decided to follow Jesus.
There’s an old hymn line that goes like this, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back.” It was not an easy decision. I felt very lonely at school. I used to pretend Jesus was sitting in any empty seats in my classroom. I would bring my Bible to school and read it in when I had free time. I would smile and be kind to those around me. I would pray in my heart as I walked the halls to classes. After my Sophomore year, God provided opportunities for me to encourage other peers who claimed to be followers of Christ. Other people began reaching out to me for advice and prayer in times they were struggling. What really surprised me is that even my teachers noticed Christ in me.
People notice how you live your life. And, the truth is, we are never alone! Sometimes the Lord takes us through seasons of “loneliness” so we can rely on and be with Him. He will never abandon you. In fact, He is closer to you and knows you better than any friend ever could. Another line later in the same hymn mentioned above says, “Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back.” Keep following Jesus. He is the ultimate example and leader, and He has called us as His children to be a leader too. Don’t be discouraged when others do not follow, but keep your eyes on Jesus, trusting that He will provide opportunities to be an example and love others.
If you are experiencing a season of loneliness, remember that Jesus is always with you. Just because you are young does not mean you have to be rebellious and follow the ways of the world to fit in. No! You can be an example and represent Christ, who loves you and loves those around you. He wants to use you to reveal His heart and character to a dying world.
Mikiah Wolff- KCVN Media