Youthful stage is a very delicate stage and any youth that doesn’t understand this stage can totally miss it in life. If only we could understand the enormity of the effects of the decisions we make in life, we would take things seriously. Temptations are bound to come but much more are the temptations that face our youngsters that assume the stage they do not understand. Some are faced with the temptation to get rich quickly, to fall in love, to have sex, listen to jabberwocky songs, keep up with the latest trend of fashion, stop leaving in their parents house because of undue exposure or so-called civilization and so on. These and more are the temptations that would accost the ways of every youth.
However, I shall pick these temptations one after the other, examine them, and provide the way out of these nebulous temptations that attract enormous implications. I’m also a young man and this article is coming to you from the little experiences I have had counselling young people and the experiences I have garnered during my youthful days which I’m still going through. May the Lord minister to you through this episodic articles.
•TEMPTATION OF HAVING A SENSE OF BELONGING.
Many young people of today do what they do in order to keep their relationship. They listen to the kind of songs they listen to because if they do not listen to those songs, their friends will castigate them and call them names like; ‘ Holier than thou,’ ‘Virgin Mary,’ ‘Pastor,’ ‘SU,’ ‘Jesus boy/girl,’ and so on. They hold their sense of belonging in high esteem so much so that they can deny Jesus. They’d rather keep being trendy than standing for what they believe in.
Some young people also utter uncouth words, spew out vulgar words in order to feel among. They don’t want to look odd whenever their friends are with them. Their friends will talk about the number of girls they have slept with and talk about the number of people they have duped in a dignifying but derogatory manner. In the presence of these kind of friends, they dare not play any Christian music. Anyone who plays Christian song will be singled out for proper bashing, vilification and vituperation.
Dear friend, is this how you will continue to dwell in the midst of the ungodly all in the name to of having a sense of belonging? Any friend that is not going your direction does not deserve to have you as his/her friend because such people will distract you. You are divinely created and all your friends may not be designed by God to tred the same path you want to trend. Some of them, will never want to obey God as they would love to become hip-hop artistes or do anything worldly. Don’t allow your sense of belonging to dictate your path. Let your vision direct you to the kind of friends to pick. More so, let Holy Spirit lead you.
I have heard of ladies who borrowed shoes, designed bags, dresses and jewellery, just to look like rich children on campus so that they would not be despised while they moved out with the real rich children on campus. Must you live fake life all in the name of having a sense of belonging? Must you fool yourself?
This is one of the temptations every young person will/must face. You will be tempted to borrow shoes, bags in order to boost your belonginess. You will be tempted to listen to jaberworky songs just to have a sense of belonging. You will be tempted to leave church activities and catch up with your friends who spend every night in night clubs, just to feel that you belong.
When Rehoboam, the son of Solomon came into power he needed to take a decision that could make or mar him concerning the Israelites; If he should lighten their yoke or not. Rehoboam received the counsel of the elders but was not satisfied with it as he thought he needed to have a sense of belonging. He consulted the young men who grew up with him, and they gave him the advice that ruined his tenure as a King(1 Kings 12:1-19).
Are you not also like Rehoboam? Are you not rejecting the counsel/advice of your parents because of belonginess? Are you not disrespecting elders because you hold your sense of belonging in high esteem? You need to change.
You will be tempted to disrespect your parents in order for them not to restrict you as you take costly decisions at youthful stage so that you can freely move out with your visionless friends. That’s the temptation of sense of belonging. Some young people are facing it now while others will definitely face theirs but your ability to overcome will distinguish you among your peers.
MY COUNSEL: You have nothing to lose if you lose your relationship with visionless friends. You do not need to solicit the friendship of everyone that do not Iove the Lord. Do not drop Jesus just to keep your friends because it is something you will leave to regret.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to lose my sense of belonging with evil friends and do your will with utmost delight.
Wait for part two of this article!