You’re at school and you’ve just been handed an invitation to a friend’s party. You’re over the moon and just about to tell them, then and there, that you can come—when you see that it’s on a Friday night. You know what the right thing to do is, seeing as it’s Sabbath, but it can be hard, can’t it?
As teenagers, we all want to conform. We don’t wish to stand out from the crowd; we just want to be like the person next to us, not drawing any particular attention to ourselves. But living as a Christian—and especially as Seventh-day Adventists— we can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb. So how do we stand fast to our morals, to what we know is right, to be different, when all those around us are making choices against what we believe?
Well, Philippians 4:13, that’s how: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When you’re finding it hard to keep Sabbath or stay true to what you know is right, just send up a little prayer and remember this verse. You can do all things when you have Jesus strengthening you; all you need to do is ask.
But it still seems hard doesn’t it? Being different in front of all your friends or your year group. You’re letting them see how much you love Jesus and that opens you up to the possibility of criticism. When I think about it though, a Dr Seuss quote springs to mind: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” People will respect you for standing up for your beliefs, and I say that from experience. It shows that you are firm in your belief, and that can inspire people to either wonder why and question, or make a commitment to be more like you and have your faith. So don’t be afraid to stand up and be the proud Christian you are. Your friends and acquaintances won’t mind; they understand that your faith is part of who you are.
2 Corinthians 2:10 states, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” When we are weak for Christ, we are strong through His strength. If we are criticised or made fun of, just remember, we have Jesus on our side, and it’s Him that we’re standing up for.
So the next time you’re in a position when you have to reject an invitation, think of the impact that action could have. Focus on the positive of standing up for the Saviour you love and the seeds you may be planting, instead of focusing on “being different.”
Jess Binet is a Year 11 student in Sydney. She loves to read, talk and learn more about our loving God.