I was looking at some homework sheets from our 7th grade yesterday and stopped dead in my tracts at one of them. Every once in a while we throw in a ‘thinking question’ which forces them to go a bit deeper. This question was a tough one for that age group….it was: “How does obeying God lead you to freedom?” I was very interested in their responses because for most kids that age obedience and freedom shouldn’t belong in the same sentence.
This one girl wrote something like ‘when you obey God then you pray and when you pray you get to know him. I like to pray because I can tell him anything and I can pray anytime. I don’t have to be afraid to tell God whatever I feel and that to me is freedom’. Just those words alone are beautiful and contain wisdom for all of us, but when I really began to think about what she wrote, it opened up a new window for me.
Imagine the world of a seventh grader in these times. Peer pressure is everything, you need to have the right, dress a certain way, have the cool friends, say the right things, listen to the ‘right’ music, etc. All of this in order to be ‘accepted’ to be part of the group, again…the ‘pressure of peers’. We see in the news almost daily the tragic damage to those who are not accepted or bullied. Look at the destructive behavior of some of our teens, most is due to the fact that they are lonely, searching for love, perhaps….searching for freedom, freedom to be who she is???
This twelve year old has recognized that God loves her as she is. She doesn’t have to hold back her feelings and thoughts with God the way that she may have to with her friends, and possibly even in her own home. She can tell God anything at anytime…..yes, she has truly discovered the freedom of obedience.