What Teens Need to Understand about Their Choices
- Tim Tebow timtebow.com
- 2017 6 Jun
“Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” (Romans 12:1-2, CEV)
Life is full of choices. We decide a countless number of things each day. Like what to wear, whom to hang out with, what to watch, what to listen to, what to eat. Some choices seem small, inconsequential. But they matter. Big ones and little ones. Making good choices, ones that honor Jesus and defy insecurities, fears, or pressures, always lead to the best life.
As we get older, it seems our choices become more difficult. For most little kids, life is pretty simple. What toy should I play with after breakfast? Do I want apple or grape juice? As we get older, decisions become more important. Do I go to that concert? Should I study or text my friends instead? Should I tell that special someone at church I like him? Do I pursue my dream or forget about it because others might think it’s dumb? Some choices are harder than others and require us to press on in spite of fear or doubt.
I remember a time growing up when everyone in my family was away on a trip except for my mom, 12-year-old Peter, and nine-year-old me. One morning as I walked past my sisters’ bedroom, I noticed something moving at the foot of their beds. When I stepped into the room to get a closer look, my mouth dropped to the floor. The movement I saw came from a huge rattlesnake, thick as a baseball bat and longer than the length of the beds. It slithered on the rug, the rings on its tale vibrating in warning. In a split second, the venomous creature slid out of sight. I couldn’t tell where it went. “Mooommm!” I yelled, bolting out of the room.
My mother called one of our baseball coaches who was also a police officer and lived a few miles away. “Help! There’s a snake in Katie and Christy’s room. My husband’s away. Can you please come over and get rid of it?” she asked with desperation. There was a long pause on the other end. “Uh, I’d love to, Mrs. Tebow. I really would. Problem is, I’m deathly afraid of snakes. Could you call someone else?” Disappointed, Mom reached out to a neighbor next. Unfortunately, he wasn’t home.
That first man made a choice. He chose fear over helping out a friend in need. And instead of choosing to step in and fix the problem, he chose to put it in the hands of nine-and 12-year-old boys.
Out of options, Peter and I made the choice to be the men of the house. We chose to get the job done. Armed with a hatchet and a shovel, we noticed movement under the blanket on the bed. In one swift move, we threw the blanket off the bed. Sure enough, there the threatening rattlesnake lay, slowly slithering around, daring us to come closer. Peter used his ninja skills to hold the snake down, and I chopped its head off with the hatchet. My brother and I solved the rattlesnake situation. We were able to do what a grown man wasn’t, simply because we decided to. And the three of us slept soundly that night.
While I doubt one of your life choices will involve snake removal, I am sure of this: you will face a huge number of choices as you move through your life. Like what to do when you get into a fight with a friend, what to say when someone makes you really, really mad, or how to act when faced with an obstacle that stands in your way.
So how do you make the right choice? Pray about it. Seek guidance in God’s Word. Our key verse suggests we “let God change the way [we] think.” Sometimes it’s hard to make a good choice, even though we know it’s right. That’s when we need to lean on Jesus for the help that He has promised to give. Remember, the key to the best life is to honor Him. And when we do this, we are sure to live at our best.
Excerpted from Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters. by Tim Tebow with A. J. Gregory Copyright © 2017 by Timothy R. Tebow. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/BrianAJackson