Three things are inevitable for every youth pastor: paying taxes, dying, and dealing with teenage drama. I’ve definitely been through my fair share of the drama. I’ve seen teenagers quit youth ministries, asked to leave youth ministries, small groups implode, friendships shattered, families severed, and teenagers quit church altogether…over drama.
We just finished an overview of the book of 1 Corinthians where Paul walked the church of Corinth through the right way of repenting of their sin, overcoming their struggles, and settling their drama through the gospel. Its an incredible book of how to handle all areas of life by applying the gospel! So, this morning in our 1 Corinthians wrap-up before small groups, I walked our teens how to apply the gospel to…teenage drama! Here’s what we looked at:
1. Be like Jesus! Our natural, sinful tendency is to be like the world…the culture surrounding us. When drama strikes, the world flares up, bows up, and speaks up. They attack, defend, and fight dirty. But we aren’t called to be like the culture, we are called to be like Jesus. “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27). When we are called to the gospel, we are called to become like Jesus and live all of life for Him. So these next few points are how to apply the gospel to teenage drama by living like and for Jesus.
2. Don’t defend yourself. That’s right…don’t feel like you always have to defend yourself. Here’s part of the beauty of the gospel that we rarely talk about. Jesus perfectly and flawlessly obeyed all of God’s commands while living on earth. Therefore, His Father was fully pleased with Him. When we are saved, we are united into Jesus. Therefore, through Jesus, God is fully pleased and satisfied with us. He fully accepts us based on Jesus’ performance. Our personal identity is now in Jesus alone. So…we don’t have to care what others think about us because we know who we truly are in Jesus! Most of the time in teenage drama situations, trying to defend, prove, or justify yourself just makes things worse. I’m not saying that its always wrong to defend yourself, I’m just saying…don’t always feel like you have to because ultimately your identity and acceptance is found in Jesus and not yourself! “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22-23). Be like Jesus! Continue reading