Peter writes in his 2nd letter, “For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them” (2 Peter 2:21). When I read this verse tonight, I thought about the teenagers in our youth group. Today’s generation does not have a great attention span. Media has much to blame for this…but anyway, I’m not going to go down that rabbit trail…
I’m not 100% sure about other youth groups, – I imagine it is very similar – but I know that in our youth group we have several teens that come for 1 or 2 months really consistently. They jump in and get really involved, and then they suddenly drop off of the radar. They just stop coming. Then suddenly a few months later they show up again. Other youth leaders, does this happen with you?
I worry that today’s generations (including SCYG teens) are not truly committing to their faith. I worry that they only see God as the “Big Man Upstairs” that you only need to go to when times are tough. God isn’t a vending machine that we pay with a prayer. Admit it, we all think that way sometimes. We pray to God when we really need/want something, and then instantly expect that need/want to be granted.
When these teens come to youth group they learn about who God really is. They hear lessons that instill the wonderful, awesome qualities of our omnipotent God. In addition to that, they learn about what the heart of a Christian looks like in action. These teens that come and hear these lessons have the opportunity to know the way of righteousness, and I believe that for most of them they understand what they are hearing. Any yet there are those few that I mentioned above that choose to go the way of the world. They turn back to the life that society pushes as better, easier, and more fun.
These verses convicted me to pray more fervently for our teens, and to try harder to make God and their faith in Him more real. My prayer for them is that they realize that God is so much bigger than the “Vending Machine” that we all constantly make Him. I want their faith to be so bubbly and exciting that they yearn to know Him more and cannot help but share it with their friends. I hope that this is your prayer for your children, friends, family, and every Christian.
What do you think? Do you too often view God as vending machine that you only visit when you need a little snack, and then immediately turn back to the ways of the world once you get that snack? Once you have experienced God and His righteousness, please do not turn away from it.