Great news! There are only 9 or so months left of school and then … SUMMER BREAK! I know, I know. Too soon. Summer is just ending and you’re back in school having to study, do homework, go to practice and wake up way too early in the morning.
My guess is that you’re starting this school year wanting to do your very best. It’s a new year and you have an opportunity to make better grades, get a starting spot on the team, and make incredible memories with your friends.
These are all great goals, but I’d like to challenge you to consider one more thing for your school year. Consider making it a major goal this year to live for Jesus more than you ever have. I’m talking about living for Him in a way that brings God glory through your actions in school.
Think about it this way. In nine months or so, school is going to end and this school year will be behind you. When that moment comes, how do you want to remember this year? My guess is you would love to look back with confidence and know you tried to live for Jesus all year long.
If that’s true for you, I’d like to suggest four things you could do this year to help you live in a way that honors God. Consider these things.
Pray for godly friends
I’m talking about the kind of friends that are really living for Jesus. Let’s be honest, you know which friends are good, godly influences in your life and which ones are not. God’s word is clear about the importance of good friends.
Proverbs 13:20 reminds us “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” This means that if we have friends who are wise, we’ll be wise. But if we have a bunch of knuckleheads for friends, we’ll likely become a knucklehead also.
I’m not saying you should have only Christian friends. The Bible is clear that we are to be light in a dark world and share the Gospel with others. The real question, though, is are you influencing your nonChristian friends, or are they influencing you?
Pray for your teachers
Yes, I’m serious. This may come as a surprise to you, but teachers really do have feelings. They love to be appreciated for the sometimes thankless job of being a teacher. They especially love it when they’re treated with respect by teenagers. By praying for your teachers, you’ll end up being a huge encouragement to them.
Not all of your teachers are Christians. Think for a moment how incredible it would be for you to actually share Christ with one of your teachers. The great news is if you’re praying for them on a regular basis, you’ll likely treat them with respect. They’ll see a difference in you.
God’s word teaches us to respect those in authority over us. Romans 13:1 reminds us: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
If we’re respecting our teachers, that means we’re not talking bad about them.
Pray for discipline and understanding
I don’t think adults give you enough credit for how difficult making good grades can be these days. I have one kid in middle school and one in high school. Having seen them in recent years tackle all of their homework and difficult subjects, I know firsthand that the “learning” part of school can be a challenge.
This also includes the pressure of making good grades. Here’s the thing though, school is important. Yes, I sound like a dad here, but I really do believe that as a teenager you need to prepare yourself for the plans God has for you one day as an adult.
So, ask God for discipline in studying and doing homework. If you’re having a hard time in a particular subject, pray and ask God for understanding in that subject.
Pray for wisdom
As things get busy again and you get reconnected with friends this year, there will be new temptations around every corner. As you get older, you’ll have more and more freedom to make your own decisions about things to do, who to hang out with, and most importantly, who will influence you.
We talked about this earlier in our godly friend section, but it’s deeper than just friendships. You and I both have the potential to make really dumb decisions sometimes. We’re all tempted and temptation sometimes leads to dumb decisions, also known as sin. As you go through this school year, be sure to ask God for wisdom with your decisions to say yes or no to opportunities that come your way.
I’m hoping you have an amazing school year! Let’s live it for Jesus together!