"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
1) Speech ~ As high schoolers, we try to forget middle school. High schoolers think that they're annoying little people who are loud and awkward. Or we try to forget middle school because those were some of the worst years of our lives, submerged in bullying and awkward friendships. We hated those uncomfortable years so we try to disregard middle school in general.
The first thing I wish high schoolers knew is that middle schoolers need encouragers—we are those encouragers. This is a new time in their lives so we need to rightfully use our speech.
2) Conduct ~ The Bible says in Matthew 7:20 that Christ followers will be recognized "by their fruits." Too many times high schoolers are not known by their fruits and do not display the fruits of the Spirit because they are too consumed with living now. "#YOLO" and "Live your life!!" are things the world screams at us, discouraging us to be an example in our conduct. People watch everything we do.
Secondly, I desire high schoolers to know that life is not about "now." The life we live now should point to Who we will spend eternity with (this is sanctification).
3) Love ~ Several months ago, I finally had enough courage to ask our Bellevue Arlington student pastor's wife to chat over some coffee. I was so nervous... I mean, she was goals—beautiful, popular, sweet, and caring—what more could you ask for? But I wanted to get to know her better and glean wisdom from her. We met at Starbucks and talked for almost two hours. Plus, I gained a lot of wisdom from her! We've gotten to grow closer—we even went on a double date with her husband and my boyfriend. But a couple weeks ago, I found out my sweet new friend was moving almost six hours away! I'm sad she's leaving, and I'll miss her, but I'm thankful I had enough courage to get to know her better in the first place.
Thirdly, I wish high schoolers knew getting to know people is the best thing you can do! Not just in your circle of friends, but people you've had a desire to get to know—this will help deepen your walk with God and will also strengthen the body of Christ.
4) Faith ~ If I've learned anything in my Christian walk, it's been that being a Christian isn't comfortable. There have been many things that have made me uncomfortable—like sharing the gospel with a stranger or giving up something for the sake of Christ. But as I've learned this, I've learned that it is totally worth it—outside of our comfort zone is the perfect spot where Jesus can use us. The theme of our summer camp this past year was "this changes everything," meaning salvation affects every area of our lives—our attitude, actions, and appearance.
Additionally, I desire high schoolers to know that salvation changes EVERYTHING. It may not be comfortable, but it's totally worth it.
5) Purity ~ I've learned a lot through my relationship with my boyfriend. From the very start, we both desired to have a relationship of example that younger people could look up to and follow. As I've grown closer to my boyfriend, I've learned that a relationship with Christ is so much more important!!
Finally, I wish high schoolers knew that every relationship we have here on earth is meant to deepen our relationship with Christ.