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<< Then & Now for Teens, with Dan Darling

Then & Now - Week of May 11

  • 2009 May 11

Redeem Your Summer 
Ephesians 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 3:10-12

Right about now is the time you’re counting down the days for school to end. You’ve got one eye on the teacher and one eye on the window, waiting until that final bell rings and you’re free from school, free from commitments.

A word of warning. Redeem your summer. I say this because most of the trouble teens get into happens in the summer. The weather is nice, you’ve got time on your hands, and there is just a lot more temptation to go around.

Do you have a plan for your summer? If you’re old enough, think about getting a job and earning some money. Even if you don’t have to. Even if you’re parents are wealthy enough to buy you what you want. Work is good. Work is part of God’s plan. Work give you an outlet by which to glorify God with your hands.

In fact, make your summer busy. Business is good for teens. Get involved in a sports league. Sign up for summer camps. Go on a short-term missions’ trip.

Most of all, pursue activities that may stretch you a bit, that are out of your comfort zone. Meet some new friends. Find ways to evangelize those friends who don’t know the Lord.

You might even volunteer at your church or local charity. A few hours a week at a mission or food pantry will be great. You may even want to take a few extra classes and brush up on your subjects so you’ll be ready for school in the fall.

Growing up, my summers were always busy. I usually spent four-six weeks up at a church camp in Minnesota. I worked from 8am to 10pm cleaning boats, mowing lawns, painting cabins, cleaning fish, etc. I learned some of the greatest life lessons up in the beautiful, pristine wilderness of Minnesota.

And when I wasn’t at camp, my Dad dragged me along to the construction site, where he conducted his plumbing business. While every other kid was sitting at home, I was installing sinks and toilets in people’s homes, drilling walls, and threading pipes. I didn’t really like it. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize the value of that hard work. My Dad insisted on it and I’m glad. It taught me a lot.

I don’t know what you’ll do with your summer, but do me a favor. Don’t waste it. Redeem it for God’s glory. 

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at