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Four Letter Words Every Christian Teenager should say… Often!

August 6, 2017

Do you sometimes cringe at the language your teenage friends use? It may not be filthy and vulgar… though sometimes it is. Sometimes older adults can’t even understand the words or slang teens are using. They may as well be speaking a foreign language!

Even more troubling for Christian parents or grandparents, are young people who profess to follow Jesus and use the same bad language as any other teenager. If they truly have a personal faith relationship with God, shouldn’t their speech reflect it?

With those thoughts in mind, I want to offer three four-letter words every Christian teenager should speak… often!

  • W-O-R-K

If there is one thing parents have taken away from many teenagers in their eagerness to provide them with everything they need… or almost anything they want… it is the need, even the desire, for WORK.

My generation – those lazy, slacker GenXers – had to get a part-time job at the local grocery store after school or gas station or fast food restaurant if they wanted to buy a Nintendo64 or cut-up blue jeans or… whatever. If you didn`t work for the extras, you didn`t get them.

(No, we didn`t have to walk uphill both ways to school. We were driven around. We didn`t have to buy the laptop for our university studies ourselves or pay the tuition fee, we just had to make our own spending money!).

So, eventually we went to work – even though we despised it – so we could have a few extra things. Admittedly, some folks in my generation were not the best workers and hated every minute of it, but we did learn how to work and did gradually get better at it as we (sorta) grew up.

It could be getting a part-time job after school. It could be working or even volunteering over the summer months between the end of one school year and the start of another. It doesn’t matter too much what type of work you do or how much it pays. Its the responsibility and reliability a work situation demands that grows your character and your reputation for the future.

  • S-T-O-P

While I told you how we Gen Xers became passable with the last four-letter word, I realize we had no trouble with this four letter word: STOP. We were known as slackers for a reason. However, teenagers today have a different challenge.

Again it is not totally your fault. Your parents are as much at fault in failing to use this word as you are (blaming your parents for life is another talent of a Gen Xer). As a teenager, you are hardly ever allowed to STOP… and I feel sorry for you.

At least once a week, and often a few times in a day, you need to STOP. Stop playing your video game. Stop texting on your phone or checking facebook. Stop doing… whatever and just sit. Have a cup of coffee. Or tea. Or talk to someone without being interrupted by the perpetual ding of your phone. Everything demanding your time does not need to be answered.

Be still. Sit quietly. Listen… to the person in the room, to the sounds of the birds, to the traffic whizzing by, to nothing. Enjoy silence.

  • H-O-P-E

Researchers tell us teenagers today have been praised so highly, their self-esteem individually and as a group is at an all-time low. Yet for the teenager who professes to know Jesus, they should be containers and dispensers of HOPE!

I know there are plenty of reasons to be gloomy and doomy in most areas of life today. War. Racial prejudice. Sexism. Climate change and global warming. Overpopulation. Politics (don’t even get started on politics). Every-kind-of-phobia imaginable exists in the 21st century. I suspect there are doctors who diagnose people with phobiaphobia (fear of fear).

Yet a Christian young person does not put his/her hope in any of these earthly and temporal things. Your hope is in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. In the midst of all kinds of situations that seem dire and out-of-control, Jesus gives HOPE. And not just a futuristic hope – if you survive to the end heaven will be much better. A here and now hope.

For the follower of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, He is with you each and every day. Each and every step of the way, whether the path is well-lit and clear or whether it is dark, foggy and seemingly going nowhere.

So Christian teenager or young adult, use these four letter words a bit more often in your speech: work, stop, and hope. But don’t only talk about them, live them! You have every opportunity in imaginable before you (and I realize that may not be a good thing always!)… don’t be afraid to fail (another four letter word that really is not that bad). Give it all you’ve got and face the future with hope!

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