One of our readers, Cristina Irizarry, has launched a new online magazine called CounterCulture, which exists to activate and challenge this generation to be true followers of Christ. Cristina is adding her voice to the growing network of online magazines and blogs dedicated to making an impact on our generation. As she so aptly puts it, "in this chain of support and accountability, each magazine or blog keeps its integrity to Biblical truth."Age (Does Not) Matter
The Rebelution welcomes Cristina and CounterCulture as allies in the teenage rebellion against low expectations, and are pleased to reprint the first installment of CounterCulture's initial series, The Essence of Being Young:
By Cristina Irizarry of CounterCulture
It is no surprise that age plays a key role on people’s judgment of who you are. Our culture has defined the teen years as years of doing foolish things. Some associate adolescence with making wrong decisions and being unwise in thought. It is this very mind set that sets the bar for low expectations. Not much is expected or asked from teens.
But when we look at the Bible there is a total different picture of who teens are. It is people, especially in their teen years, that God has called to do great things. These teens held a godly character, had strong convictions, were bold in their walk and obeyed God.
1.) Godly Character
So how do we break this chain of low expectations? The answer lies in our character and hearts. True godly character comes from wisdom. It is not the kind of wisdom that the world gives, but the kind of wisdom that comes from God.
The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
And in 2 Corinthians 4:6 it says: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
The Bible says we should ask for wisdom, because God will give it to us if we ask. The Bible also states that God Himself has given us “the light of knowledge.” That means that He has made that wisdom available to us. As followers of Christ, God has also given us the knowledge of who He is through Christ.
A godly character develops when we seek God (and His wisdom) and obey Him.
2.) Strong Convictions
I believe that godly convictions are a bi-product of a godly character. Without a godly character you cannot have solid godly convictions.
One can hold strong convictions about politics, relationships (or purity), science, ect. Just to name a few important categories.
The key here is to base your convictions on Gods truth; the Bible. As Christians we don't follow other people, we follow God. Therefore, our convictions need to be in accordance with the Word of God.
3.) Bold In Our Walk
Being bold in our walk is one of the toughest parts of being a Christian. But only because it is tough it does not mean that we shouldn't do it. It’s through doing hard things that we grow. It is essential to be bold in our walk if we are ever to make a difference. No one that has ever made an impact in history or the world, did it by hiding or just blending in. They stood up for the truth and had to be different from the majority of people. They had to be a counter-cultural.
The Bible records a time when Jesus disciples were asking for wisdom and boldness. Jesus had been lifted up on a cloud and gone to be with the Father, and the disciples had gone all over the region spreading the Gospel. Jesus had commanded them, before He left, to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. He also assured them that He would always be with them (Matthew 28:10).
It's through doing hard things that we grow.
This is how the disciples asked God for boldness: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
So we can not only ask God for wisdom, but we can also ask God for boldness. And the Bible also says that “...If we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14b)
4.) Obey God
Obeying God is mainly a combination of the last three points. But the bigger issue here is the heart. Where our heart is, affects our entire walk with God, which in turn affects our witness and our ability to impact the world in a positive way.
Jesus said: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house in the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24, 25)
Obeying God will not be easy sometimes. But Jesus never said that following Him would. He did say that He would be with us, that He would give us the words to speak when obeying Him, and that in the end (by His grace, not by our works) eternal life was ours.
Please visit CounterCulture and thank Cristina for her post.