Hello, beautiful souls!! I am SO excited for today’s blog!! I am writing with one of my dear friends, Emma Mae Jenkins! If you haven’t heard of her, she is also a Christian blogger, and she has such an incredible heart for the Lord and people! I love her so much!! After much time and prayer, we decided that we would write about being a Christian in high school. This blog is going to be divided into two sections, one from Emma’s perspective, as she just graduated high school and one from my perspective since I just finished my freshman year. I seriously hope that you enjoy this blog so much, and I pray that it will be meaningful and encouraging to you. Emma and I love your beautiful selves so so much!!
Being a committed Christian in today’s world has its difficulties; and when you apply that to teenagers in high school, it’s even a lot harder because it’s definitely not the mainstream. So, first off, let’s talk about what being a committed Christian means. Being a committed Christian means being in a consistent pursuit of the Lord, having a public faith, and openly living your life how God intended it to be lived. This isn’t to say Christians don’t make mistakes, don’t get me wrong, but being committed means you at least are wanting and trying to live for Christ. Being a committed Christian in high school can be super hard at times, but keep in mind that the reward is eternal, and it is obviously so worth it! Jesus is always worth it, am I right?
I’ve just finished my freshman year of high school, and it was incredible. Obviously, high school is a time when you see people testing boundaries, and even some Christians give in to peer pressure and temptations. It can make for some lonely times when you are making different choices and may feel like you are in the minority. Sometimes you are exposed to people who know Christ but aren’t actively walking with Him, and sometimes you meet people who need to be introduced to Christ desperately! That is just the amazing part of high school, you get to meet so many people from so many different backgrounds, and you get to share the love of Christ with each and every one of them!
In reflecting on what it means to be a committed Christian in high school, I’ve realized a few things. First, the name of Christ is convicting to some people. Two, some people automatically assume I’m there to judge them simply because I’m a Christian when really that is not my intention. This can make for some hard and awkward situations. What I’ve come to know for certain is that I am called to love God’s people, and not to judge them. This is actually very freeing, because I can focus on the love and put aside the judgment, and this helps me to see past things that I may have gotten hung up on in the past. It means I can see people’s value for they are in Christ, and not just look at them superficially.
Being a Christian in high school is hard sometimes because it can feel very lonely. I’m not going to lie, sometimes you may feel like you’re the only one swimming upstream, and sometimes you feel like you have very few friends who really “get” you, but y’all, it is so worth it and the reward is going to be SO amazing. The reward of being told, “Well done, My good and faithful servant!” by God in Heaven more than makes up for it in the end. When I struggle with being rejected for my faith, I try to focus on this reward. Trials and hardships ARE a thing in high school. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that trials will happen, but we are encouraged to stay strong and trust in God–in who He is and in His promises. 1 Peter 3: 13-15 says that God will reward you, and to always be prepared to give your hope story and to explain God’s love for people. God’s promise is that you will be rewarded, and you can believe in that Truth. God’s promises do not come back void because He does not come back void. People may think you are weird because of your faith. It’s a fact you just have to accept! You will seem different to people who don’t know Christ, or who are not walking closely with Him, but you have to remember that this is their issue and not yours. (1 Peter 4:2-6) If you get hurt for bearing the name of Christ, take joy in standing strong for Jesus (1 Pet 4:14) because your pain will be rewarded with eternal joy!
One thing that I learned this year is that even though we are not called to be of the world, we are still called to being it (John 17:16), and even though we are called not to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:12), we are still called to live a life in the world. We are to go out and be fishers of people (Matthew 4:19), so we are to be in the world and to show Christ’s love for people. This helped me a lot during this year because it reminded me that even though I may not be a part of what many people are doing, I am still called to love them and be there for them; and most importantly, I am called to show Christ to them. There are a lot of temptations in this life that we should resist, but we are still on this earth for a reason….we are to love the people in it. We can’t hide from the people who make unwise choices, because they may be the people who need Christ the most. After all, aren’t we all sinners in need of grace?
Another thing I learned is to love always. Loving always doesn’t mean setting yourself up to be hurt repeatedly, however. Sometimes you have to love from a distance, but you do have to love with your arms wide open, making it clear that people are always welcome to come to you, for you are there for them and not going to judge them. 1 Peter 4:8 states “but most importantly, continue to show deep love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins”. No matter how big and bad the sin may be, love can overcome it, for love can overcome anything. And why is that? Because God is love and God can overcome anything! Love people because loving them is one of the key ways that you can show Christ to them.
When talking about being Christians in high school, people tend to only look at the negative, like the trials, and how people may make fun of you; but sweet friends, there is so much good that comes from living for Christ, even during this time of life. I have found that strong friendships, built on the foundation of Christ, can withstand anything. A sweet friend in Christ is so valuable and unspeakably important. We all need to be a part of a backup of believers, your brothers, and sisters in Christ, who are always there to support each other. These friends can be from school, church, youth group or wherever, but you’ll find that, as teenagers, you are often going through the same things, or can at least relate, and you’ll find that y’all can support one another in a really sweet way. Also, most importantly, any repercussions because of your faith are so worth it, because the time and investment into a relationship with Christ and into relationships with other believers will carry you through anything, and will help you to see your value in Christ versus what the world tells you. When you are confident about who you are in Christ, it’s easy to live for Him, and it’s not hard to love His people because you are able to view them through the filter of His love. Another surprising positive comes from that freedom from judgment. People have this idea that as Christians we are so judgemental, but one thing I have learned in high school is that when you don’t judge, but rather love others wholeheartedly, it really opens a door to other friendships that you never thought could happen, and it truly can point people to Christ.
So overall, yes, while being a committed Christian in high school can be hard sometimes, but being able to say that you have a relationship with the One who made the earth, the One who walks on water, the One who pursues you continually, the One who loves you unconditionally, and the One who is the great I Am, is more than valuable. It is so worth it because you know that you are loved by Love Himself, you are being pursued by the One who can move mountains in a word, your shelter is in the One who calmed a storm, and your value is found in the One who walked out of the grave, who overcame death is SO worth it!! You are so loved!!!!! I pray over you and over your heart for the Lord and that you will seek Him wholeheartedly. I pray that you know that any trials because of your faith are so temporary and do not compare to the reward you will come to know, both now and eternally; and I pray that you are always kind and loving to other souls because my friends, whatever you do to people, you also do to Christ Himself (Matthew 25:45). You are beyond valued, beyond loved, beyond treasured, and most importantly you are priceless.
Hello beautiful people! My name is Emma Mae Jenkins. I am 19 years old and have just graduated high school. What a priceless season this was, and I am dearly humbled to share some powerful freedom that God led me in through His Word during high school, and about the excitement and purpose that can be lived out FULLY in high school. Because if you remember anything after reading what I pray God is writing through me to you, I pray that you remember that God has made you for such a time this.
Our life doesn’t have to officially “take off”-as many would say-when we graduate, or get to a certain age, or get to college. The purpose of life is not found in the accomplishments that we achieve or the age that one reaches, but purpose is simply found in Jesus, and Jesus is with us right here, right now. 1 Timothy 4:12 says “do not let others look down on you because you are young, but set an example for other believers-through your faith, love, conduct, speech, and purity”, and you have been given the wonderful role of impacting others around you of all ages, and major impact takes place when you choose to love them.
WAHOOO!!! Wow Wow Wow! I just absolutely adore the love of God because it is so reckless and unconditional. Love is actually very simple. Yet, often times I do believe that we complicate it and make it way more difficult than it actually is. We introduce God to people by loving them, and this is through the simplicity and power of the thoughts we choose to think, the words we choose to say, the actions we choose to take.
Something though that God taught me in my four years of high school was that I cannot love other people if I do not love myself, because when we see ourselves the way that God sees us, then and only then can we see other people the way God sees other people.
Do you love yourself? I speak truthfully when I tell you that saying “yes” is not prideful or cocky. It is so important that you love who you are, but genuinely loving who you are can only come by spending time with God, Who is Love. By spending time with Him through prayer, reading His Word, and spending time with godly people, I began to see myself the way that He saw me. Because when I spend time with the One Who made me in His image, I then get to myself in the image of love. It was only in relationship with God that I began to realize that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), that I am “set apart” (Jeremiah 1:5), that I am “His masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10), that “He is enthralled by my beauty” (Psalm 45:11), that “He rests in His love, and spins around in delight and jubilent joy at the thought of me” (Zephaniah 3:17). HOW AMAZING! I made the personal decision to pursue a relationship with the One Who never stopped pursuing me with His love that never fails and never ends, and because of my intimate and authentic relationship with Him, my relationship with myself grew more and more healthy every day. I began to see myself the way that He sees me. So, beloved one, I pray with my whole heart that you love you! Because God does not make mistakes, and He is absolutely crazy about you! You are so special to Him, and nothing in all of creation could ever separate you from His love.
In a culture that surrounds us with billboards of comparison, selfies of standards, and filters to focus on, I admit it can be very hard and tempting to let the status of the world become what we live by, but God’s Word raises us to a set part standard. The more time we spend in His truth, the quicker we will be able to detect, reject, and replace the deceit that the enemy uses to prevent us from seeing who we are in God’s eyes.
A life-changing thrill takes place daily when we allow God’s Word to take its place in defining who we are. God’s Word has set me free, and in this freedom of knowing how loved I am unconditionally by the King of kings, I now cannot keep it to myself, and I must share publically what God has done in my heart privately.
In the midst of not being able to hold in this radiant truth of being made with purpose and love, high school was one of the public ways I decided to share. And this public declaration was shared with those who may have felt like their lives weren’t noticed, and that was perfect. Because that is what showed me when I didn’t feel noticed, loved, or worthy, He pursued me intentionally. So now, I intentionally pursue and love the unwanted, the unnoticed, the ones who don’t feel loved, and the ones who don’t feel worthy.
Every precious soul sitting alone at lunch-sitting with them were some of my most favorite lunches. Life-giving conversations with the ones who rocked their purple hair made my heart smile bigger than my face can. Getting to tell the janitors how appreciated they are got my soul PUMPED! Taking the long way to get to class to simply encourage more people were some of my most cherished walks. Staying after class to simply let the teachers know that they were appreciated fill my soul to the brim.
In John 4, Jesus was taking a journey to Samaria from Galilee. It says that Jesus HAD to go through Samaria to get to Galilee…but oh my friends He indeed did not have to go through Samaria because it was His only option. In this time the Jews despised and rejected the Samaritans…(but keep in mind that Jesus was a Jew). Most Jews during this time would go around Samaria, traveling almost twice the distance, in order to avoid the Samaritans. But Jesus chose to go right through the very place that the crowd despised going. He chose to go right through the place that would make people question Him and shame Him for doing such a thing against the culture. And why did He do it? (hehehehe I LOVE HIM!) He did it in order to love a woman who was outcast by society and walking in shame. He chose to go out of the society’s liking way in order to let someone know that He was the Way.
In the season that you are in-in this journey of high school, you choose how you walk it. God has called you by name so that you may walk in boldness of calling others by their name and looking out for the outcast. God is calling you to something greater than what your physical eyes can see. High school is full of beautiful books and exciting essays to write-but oh my it is so much more. It is my opportunity to walk through Samaria. There will be people that reject you, there will people who claim that you are crazy odd for loving Jesus wholeheartedly and loving people. But loving people doesn’t look like what is popular all of the time. Walking in God’s truth doesn’t always look cool to the crowd, but I have learned that I cannot let my actions be determined by how I think other people may react. Remember that we are not here for the approval of people, but we are here for God’s approval, and through Christ, you are sealed in His approval and love and in this alone you can be made whole.
At the beginning of this blog, I prayed that you, if you remember anything, would remember that you were made for such a time as this. You were made to change the world-one precious heart at a time-one smile at time-one act of kindness at a time-one word of truth spoken in love at a time. The right time to do the right thing is right now. Not only is it the right time to love others like Jesus loves, but it is also time that you love yourself by receiving the love that God has always and will always have for you. True freedom came when I started to see myself the way that God saw me because it then no longer mattered what the opinions of others were, and I got to walk in this freedom by letting this love within flow without into the hearts of others.
I am so SO so excited about your life and I pray that you know how truly special you are. Let high school be your path to Samaria:-)