School is out for the summer. That is a good thing, right? What amazes me is that I have been on Cape Cod for almost 7 years now and have been to a myriad of graduations. How incredible it is to be a part of so many young lives, whether directly or indirectly. With graduation also comes a heavy burden. Here are hundreds of graduates ready to enter college – a time that has not historically been a time of spiritual growth for many. Today with prevailing relativistic, anything goes,worldviews in control of many colleges, it scares me to think about how many young minds are being led astray. It reminds me of the importance of being involved in the lives of children, whether our own or ones entrusted to our care. As I sat in graduation this year I was struck by two prevailing thoughts. Sure, we all have heard the typical graduation “go conquer the world” speech, but there were two comments that jumped out to me. It is not that they were wrong. I just feel they were misrepresented.
No Weapons Formed Against Us
It is amazing when a high school graduate shares a verse from the Bible. It is underwhelming when they attribute it to an athlete. The sad part for me is it is likely they really think this athlete spoke this and that it was actually about sports. It is not about sports at all. In the real world people do get hurt despite our best efforts. It is a bit overstated to think that just because we try hard we will have success. Many have tried and many have failed. There must be something else than just trying really hard. The only real safety we have is in doing God’s will not our own.
Follow Our Heart
Every time I hear about following my heart I literally feel sick. It is not that the notion of pursuing dreams and desires is necessarily wrong. In fact, we all want our children to find things they enjoy and to do them well. What I don’t want is for my children to only follow their heart. I know this from my own heart. In fact, the Bible has something to say about this.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9
Following our hearts, while the thing many people tell each other, is actually a dangerous thing. We must line our hearts up to God’s Word and live that out.
Each summer brings about a new transition for youth ministries. Students are on a different schedule and sometimes ready to engage in something meaningful. At other times they are just wanting to hang out with other teens and build some relationships. Whatever the case, it is important that we all make the most of the opportunities we have to help the people we influence get the right picture of God and His Word. The truth is we just don’t have that much time and the culture is not going to help.