To the Christian Student in the Public School,
It’s hard to believe that the memories of summer freedom are behind you and it’s time to roam the halls of school once again.
Some of you are filled with excitement, ready for a new year and embrace the chance for a clean slate.
Others are not so thrilled and may even battle the occasional bout of anxiety.
Aside from academic expectations of success, there’s pressure to fit in, have the latest devices, and to climb to the top of the social food chain.
The modern day school can resemble a war zone, with one wrong move leading to the explosion of your social life in the blink of an eye.
How is a Christian supposed to thrive in an environment of loud personalities clamoring for attention and to be heard?
The answer is simple.
Be Jesus as you accept outsiders and purposefully befriend the friendless. Look for those who are hurting, in need of a smile, and be a place of refuge, accepting of all.
In a place where emphasis is on social status and who you know, it takes gumption and thick skin to go against the grain and to block out the noise of a fallen world.
By building authentic relationships, you can minister to others with your actions as well as your words. When you extend kindness and show mercy, the love of God shines through you and impacts others.
By affirming others and lavishing grace, you are modeling the unconditional acceptance of Christ at the cross. This rapport and friendship will offer a safe place to boldly ask the ultimate question, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”
Bombarded with the desire to fit in and for temporary popularity, you may be tempted to hide your beliefs and to camouflage your Christianity with the ways of the world.
But you are called to go against the grain of a poisoned society, and to take a stand for Jesus no matter the cost.
There may be sacrifices you have to make because you are a Christian.
You may lose friends because of your beliefs.
You may be ridiculed because of your convictions.
You may be ostracized because of your heart for Jesus.
But stand firm on His promise that there is more to life than school and peer notoriety. A life lived with passion and purpose for the Lord will receive the ultimate prize, rewards in heaven as you spend eternity with Him.
While I know the pain and ache of this life threatens to consume and seems to last forever, God promises that trouble here on earth is momentary and fleeting.
Consider yourself a modern day disciple, choosing to be brave when you are persecuted for your faith and being bold for Jesus no matter the cost.
Surround yourself with others who desire to live a life pleasing to the Lord and be selective about your friends.
While loving others and being Jesus is necessary, keep your close friends to a carefully chosen few.
Jesus had only twelve close confidants, and they were people He could count on and trusted with His life.
These were men with a deep passion for the Lord, who encouraged Him, prayed with Him, and were faithful even in death.
Choose your inner circle wisely, surrounding yourself with fellow believers to strengthen you in moments of temptation and to spur you on in your relationship with the Lord.
Cling to God’s truth as your anchor when the evil one attacks.
His dark and sinister spirit will bombard you with deceit and feed you lies to throw you off course.
He wants nothing more than for you to live defeated and to abandon your faith.
Soaking in God’s presence through prayer and reading His word will help you grow in wisdom and to discern truth among the lies.
Knowing those precious promises in God’s Word will help you be bold for Jesus and to be a light in a darkened world.
May your light be contagious and may others long to know Him because you lived with boldness and unwavering faith. Have a wonderful school year. I am praying for you!