A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Treehouse
'Tis the Season
The Joy of Family
The Rhythm of Life
We Are the Church

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TeensBeing Your Best
By Toni Smothers

"Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you wonít need to compare yourself to any one else." (Galatians 6:4 NLT)

Paul warned the people not to make meaningless comparisons between themselves. Each of us is a unique person because God made us that way. He didnít want everyone to be alike. God is the author of variety and his creation abounds with numerous breeds of animals, types of plants, as well as types of people. (Just think of the mix you experience in your own school.)

You canít worry about fitting in with the worldís ways and standards. You need to be responsible for your own actions and follow the path that God has specifically planned for you. (Easy? No way Ė but, it is do-able.)

No Christian, young or old, should ever think that he or she is totally independent and doesnít need help from others and no one should feel excused from the task of helping others. The body of Christ Ė the church, your youth groups Ė functions only when the members work together for the common good. You can lean on these people when you feel like the lone hunchback.

Everyone needs a certain amount of appreciation from their peers. But those who go out of their way to win popularity with a lot of classmates, just become conceited and show they are not following the Holy Spiritís leading. Those who look to God for approval wonít need to envy others. Because we are Godís sons and daughters, we have the Holy Spirit as the loving guarantee of His approval.

When you came to the Lord Jesus with confession and repentance in your heart, and believed that he could cleanse you of your sin, you became a new creature Ė now you must live like it.

Donít worry about what your neighbor has or does, but look to the Lord for your lead. He will always take you into joy and fulfillment and stay continually by your side. Wherever you are in your life right now, just yield yourself unconditionally to God and He can make your life a thing of beauty and a demonstration of His glory to all. Billy Graham, a famous evangelist, once said, "If you want the perfect plan that God has for your life, you will have to go by way of Calvary to get it."

There are no short-cuts to learning who you are and what your purpose is in this crazy world. It seems like the secular environment that you deal with everyday, screams, "Youíre weird," to anyone who is saved and working on living a life that attempts to copy Jesusí life Ė and forget about sexual purity! No dope or booze? Whatever is your problem!!

The thing is that there is no problem with you Ė the problem is with them. They just donít get it so theyíd prefer to make fun of you than understand the precious gift of salvation and a godly lifestyle.

"But people who arenít Christians canít understand these truths from Godís Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others canít understand us at all." 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 (NLT)

Christ really has set you free, but itís your responsibility to stay free. Temptations will always present themselves, so itís best to be prepared to resist and follow your heart wherein your Savior dwells. Be brave sweet saints and follow the narrow path.

Please feel free to send me your questions or concerns. Let me know what you are struggling with. Maybe your question could help someone else too. Send your questions or comments through the Your Letter page here at the Magazine.
Toni Smothers is a child of God, wife, mom, grandmother, writer and lay-speaker. She has had serious exposure to the rougher side of life and from that experience has been left with a heart full of love for others who struggle with learning about our beautiful Savior. Through her writing, Toni delights in helping young people especially, who are seeking to find a true, intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father. Toni can be contacted at toni@smothers.us.
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