A note for Teens…

A mom I know from the local church asked several of the men, myself included, to write a letter to her son for his thirteenth birthday. Unusual but interesting request. I applaud her desire for diverse perspectives and encouragement for her son from people who have a relationship with God. I know she wants people to speak positive words into her son’s life because I want the same for my son and this is a way to do that. I hope it is well received and because she asked below is a generic version of what I wrote for her son’s thirteenth birthday.

Dear Teenager,

You are quickly growing into a man transitioning from childhood to adulthood. How I personally survived those teenage years is an act of God’s grace. I was not smart and I made many mistakes. But that is ok because I had and still have a relationship with Jesus. That relationship made me what I am today and I want to share with you a few keys of success for life that I have learned from Jesus.

Love the Bible. Memorize as many verses as you are able and as the Holy Spirit leads. God’s word is the greatest wisdom ever given to men and if you pay attention, put into practice what you find there then you will win at everything that matters. Here are some verses that have saved me along the way.

If someone wants you to do something you know is wrong then speak this verse out loud to their face if necessary. God’s word will cut them to the soul. God’s words spoken out loud are powerful.

My son, if sinners try to lead you into sin, do not go with them. – Proverbs 1:10 NLV

Life is not always fun and part of growing up is taking the good and the bad and being happy with where God has placed you. If you complain endlessly then life will never be fun. Godly men are disciplined and prepared for both the hard parts of life as well as the fun parts of life.

Do everything without complaining and arguing – Philippians 2:14 NLT

I have made mistakes and you are going to make mistakes. You will fail. However, what separates my failures from the failures of others is that God is my father and he never fails. He is always there to pick me up. Build your life, your relationships on Jesus Christ and God will pick you up every time.

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. – Proverbs 24:16 ESV

The Biblical number of perfection is seven as in God rested on the seventh day. Everything God does is perfect and God will make you a winner even when you fail because you put your trust and hope in Jesus Christ.

Christ Only Always,

Human Effort