Never think you’re too young to make a difference

Some of the most significant people in the Bible did great things at very young ages. David was just a young man when he defeated Goliath. It was a young woman who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. Even the twelve disciples would have all been pretty young. They were following a Rabbi. In that culture, they were probably as young as 15 years old (though Peter seems to have been a bit older). And there are many more examples we could find in the Scriptures.

I think teens have a tendency to look at faith as something for older people.

But the reality is that you’re never too young to start developing a relationship with God and making that your own. You’re never too young to serve God. You’re never too young to share the love of Jesus. You’re never too young to stand up for your faith.

That last one can be a hard thing to do. It can be easy to be influenced by our friends. Influenced by kids we perceive as cool. Influenced by the culture. Influenced by people we follow on Instagram and Snap Chat.

But we also have an opportunity to influence others. We have an opportunity to let the light of the gospel shine through us. This is true in how we treat others, how we talk to others, the types of activities we do. It’s something we exemplify in honoring and obeying our parents. In being nice to our siblings (even on the days where that can be difficult). We let the light of the gospel shine when we work hard: when we push ourselves academically, when we push ourselves in sports or clubs.

Your never too young to have a devotional life. By that, to have prayer and reading the Bible as a part of your daily life.

You have an opportunity to show kindness to people. And you might not even know the impact that that has on another person’s life at the time, but it could be something that really helps them in a really tough time. Someone might have a lot of chaos at home, a sick parent, any number of issues, and students have an opportunity to be gracious.

Someone might be bullied, and maybe you don’t even know the extent of it, but when others are mean, you show kindness. That might seem small.

If you’re in school right now, there are events and interactions with classmates that you’ll remember. There will be moments that stick out to you long after they happen. Those might be good experiences. Those might be bad experiences. But you also have the opportunity to leave a long lasting impression on your classmates as well. Is that going to be a good or a bad impression?

Sometimes a little kindness on the worst day can help us get through that day, through that week, and we get to the next week, the next month, the next season of life and things get better, but we were treated kindly when we needed it most. You have the chance to do that.

Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.

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