Life is full of challenges, and everyone has a dose of it. Challenges vary according to the stage of life. Of note is the peculiarity of challenges facing Christian youths 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Without a doubt transiting to adulthood is a herculean task to the young people. The youthful age is the period when finding their bearing is demanding and confusing. At this stage, most of them are not sure what the future holds. This is due to global uncertainty. Worse hit is those who either have no relationship with God or have the reality of the scriptures.
These enormous challenges facing the Christian youths would have been minimal if these young Christians have a sound footing in Christ Jesus. Regrettably, these challenges the youths are facing will always have a split over effect on the populace. That means every member of the community including the generation after them, and the adult will bear the brunt. To the younger ones, they are more confused than their predecessors are. In addition, the adult also has frustrated, confused and troubled youths to contend with as part of the challenges.
At times, these challenges facing Christian youths can be overwhelming that the best of them will cave in during this trial. At such a time, Christian leaders are supposed to empathize with the youths and not to castigate them. The challenges these Christian youths are facing are multidimensional and interwoven. Instead of castigating the youths while not indulges them in indolence, rebellion and lack of focus, I will offer solutions to these challenges facing Christian youths in this post.
Before exploring the way out, let’s see those challenges.
1: Personality challenge: This is the stage and age young people define who they are. It is time to take major decisions about their life and the future. As simple as this may sound, it will determine their success or failure in life. Some of the areas that determine this personality include but not limited to the choice of a carrier, spouse, employment and accommodation.
Making the right choice at this crucial stage becomes difficult and complicated. This is so because of several alternatives beckoning to them.
At this juncture one question that comes up in the mind of the youths is; how will my decisions resonate with my peers and yet help me fulfill my purpose? Sometimes, accepting their parent’s decision that will not injure their ego and personal belief can also be difficult.
Apart from all these, young Christians see preachers both in their local church and on the television display of wealth and affluence. Preacher openly teaches about money, and all that goes with it at the expense of eternal value. Of course, this set the pace for the youth that money matters even if you trade your eternity for it. All of these are challenges facing these Christian youths.
2: Cultural challenge: Without mincing words, the cultural value between the then generation and today’s generation is miles apart. So resolving this challenge facing Christian youth today can be difficult to surmount.
This cultural difference reflects on the social value system. What uses to be taboos those days are seen by the youths as a mere myth and deceit of the elders?
Today, because of an exponential increase in knowledge young men have carved a niche for themselves different and sometimes in defiance to their parent’s directive, view, and belief. In place of that, it is the peer’s decision that dictates their action. These areas of cultural differences cover dressing, greetings, festivals, marriages, dance, music, etc. Female now exposes their sensitive body for the public view in the name of fashion. The men sag in the name of trendy fashion.
Youths of today have thrown caution into the wind with immorality. Unlike the earlier generation, young Christians don’t pick models from the church or family. Instead, actors, singers, sports personality and TV personalities are their models and idols.
3: Modeling challenge: Perhaps, one havoc the adult has done to the new generation of youth is the bad leadership of the adult. This challenges Christian youths are facing is having leaders who do not walk their talk.
Sometimes the young people are confused which example to follow? Is it what the leader says or what he does? This is because what the leader says differs from what he does. Sometimes the spiritual leader is a good example to emulate, but the children are not. This complicates the decision of these young Christians as they are between two opinions. Should they follow the teachings of their spiritual leader or the example of their children who also live in the same home with this leader?
Today, true leaders are scarce. This put the young Christians in a greater dilemma. One wonders if the adult has watered down the gospel this way what happens if Jesus delays his coming for more decades.
4: Technological challenge: No doubt technology has created more problems than the solution it has created. Ask me one of the major challenges Christian youths is facing today and I will say it is technology. One of the challenges facing Christian youth today is the addiction to the cell phone and social media. Little did most of them realize that cell phone and social media has become number one time waster? This is a destiny waster as who or what waste your time had wasted your life. The social media have become the second home to youths including the Christians among them.
I will not be exaggerating if I say it is the first home to some of them. Unfortunately, what they do most time adds no value to them. More often than not they are on social media to watch the video, listen to music, take and watch pictures. At best, they listen to gossip news on sports and show business.
To worsen the situation, the internet is home to a gazillion of illicit content. These among others are sex video, pornography and crime induced content. Incidentally, you can be addicted to these vices with no one knowing it. This is possible through your cell phone and personal PC. Game betting, sex-texting, and pornography could be concealed away from parents and the loved ones.
How can the Christian youths overcome these challenges facing them?
1. Accept the reality of the time and get prepared for the future. The scriptures have not left us without the clues of the time we are in and what to do to overcome. Some of the following Bible passages attest to this. And the essence of those scriptures is keeping you on guard. First, it should not surprise you what is happening around you because the Bible has predicted these events. Second, you should be watchful not to be a victim. Hear Jesus “if I have not come… Remember youth faces a problem as the adult. The best way to overcome a problem is to face it. A pebble problem you dodge today may be a mountain tomorrow.
2.It is a matter of choice: Desperate times require a desperate decision. Everybody is the architect of his fate. That means what you are today is the product of the choices you made yesterday. While it is true, some people and situation can wedge so much influence on you yet as a free moral agent you have the final decision whether you will consent to such influence or not Proverbs 1:10, Genesis 39:7-12. We have in the Bible examples of young people who stood their ground in the face of daunting challenges. Joseph, Daniel, the three Hebrew boys and a host of others maintain their stand when it was unpopular to do so.
Admittedly you can strive to be accepted socially. However, don’t lose your identity as a person and as a child of God. Trying to be like others will only make you the second best or a copy. Why don’t you be the original God made you? Never allow other peoples opinion to control your life. Irrespective of changes in the world we still have Godly parents and spiritual leaders who you can emulate. Besides this, let the word of God be your compass.
Those young believers who distinguished themselves in the Bible never had the Bible, a parent or the minister of God around them during their trials and challenges. Yet they pass the test of fate and faith because they are rooted in the word of God at a tender age. In fact, your ability not to cave in during temptations is a mark of your genuine salvation
3.Take a step at a time: Life is in stages so take a step at a time Psalms 37:7. Short cuts are not always the fastest. In fact, the shortcut gives a deep cut and shortcut sometimes can cut your life short. Take time to learn the rudiment of life from the adult. Your patience is not stupidity, as this will make you avoid the mistakes the adult made. Life is so short that you can’t learn the entire lesson through your mistakes. Why not take the easier part in learning those lessons from those ahead of you. On finance, spend wisely to meet your needs and not luxury. Desire to be rich and successful but don’t be desperate.
4. Choose your friends wisely. We are all product of influence. Whether the positive or negative is another thing. There is no doubt your friend reflects who you are1 Corinthians 15:33, 1Corinthians 5:.11, Proverbs 22:24-25. Look for the following attributes in the company you want to keep. Does this person have a common goal like mine? Will my relationship with him advance my course? Does he factor eternity to his plan and purpose? These questions are valuable as where you’ll be in the next few years will depend on the books you read and the companies you keep.
5Upgrade yourself regularly. There is no limit or end to learning. Fortunately, technology has brought the world unto your palm. That means you can learn so much on the internet. It is cheaper and convenient. Even if you have one academic qualification, you can still further your education, as the first-degree certificate should be your starting point academically.
Added to your academic qualification you can learn a trade or vocation. This is crucial now when the best economy in the world is in crises. At least, be sure you have one alternative source of income if there is no white-collar job or the one you have now is not paying. Apart from that, one stream of income is no longer enough to sustain the family today. In addition, there is nothing stopping you from being an employer of labor instead of being an employee?
Today, God needed literate ministers in the ministry to reach the elite in society. This is where your theological training becomes necessary. Not only that, you will interpret the scriptures correctly if you go for theological training. Then you’ll become an approved worker according to the advice of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15. With that, you can correct any heresy going on around you.
6.Use technology wisely: Technology has both its good and downside effect. You are at the liberty of its usage 1 Corinthians 10:23. Therefore explore the good side of the technology to advance your physical, academic, social, financial and spiritual life. One way to use technology to your advantage is to always test how and when you use it. Ask if the time you spend on your phone and social media worth it. Check if what you do online add any value to your physical, spiritual, social and academic value. It is necessary to set the timing for the way you use technology. As good as technology is, when it becomes an addiction, it is time for review.
7. Remember your creator: Ecclesiastes 12:1. You will not always be a youth. Therefore, this is the time to live for God. The adult sometimes wishes they undo what they did while young but they couldn’t. The time to serve God is now. First, death has nothing to do with age; second, the Lord can come at any time. Third, your best useful time begins now. Fourth, this is the most trying period of all mankind characterize with alcoholism drug, peer pressure, pornography, immorality. Fifth, it easier to take the risk for God now than when you old with lots of responsibility and dependants on you.
So no better time to face the challenges of the Christian youths than now. One way to swim against the tides of challenges facing Christian youths is to align yourself with the word of God while you are resolute to make the right choice and make the right impact in your world.
Author: Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.