Teen Scene: Are You Two-Faced?

Summer is here! Now what are you going to do? Maybe it will be a family vacation, or a trip to the RYS convention with your youth group, or a summer work project. You may or may not do some of these things, but I know you will be spending a lot time with friends. Maybe you will be at the beach, or playing ball, or just hanging out. You will probably be working at some kind of job making money for car insurance or just to buy a car.

With all this being said about the summer, there is one theme that runs through it all. You won’t be home much. This is not necessarily good or bad. It is good to work, to have interests, and to have friends. Still, a question that needs to be asked is, “What are you going to do with your Christianity when you’re not home under the positive influence of your family or under their direct supervision when you’re out?

You may work or be on a ball team, but you will have more free time on your hands. Often curfews are extended on weeknights during the summer. Your family may leave for a vacation, but you may need to stay home and work. How you going to react to temptation without your normal family support and influence?

This summer you are going to be faced with temptations you usually don’t have to deal with during the school year. Perhaps an old temptation will be packaged in a new and unexpected way. How are you going to act when you don’t have to answer to anyone at home? This often is one of the first questions college students have to answer when they first leave home for school.

Why do many high school and college students go away on spring break? Is it because no one they know will be there? No one to be accountable to? {Read Luke 15:11–32} Why did the prodigal son leave? Temptation is always knocking on your door. When no one is around these temptations are much more difficult to resist. The devil is going to tell you, “It’s only this one time.” The world will tell you, “It looks so good and exciting.” And your own mind will tell you “Well, Frank did it, and he goes to church. Why can’t I do it?”

The time is going to come when you are “out there” on your own with no one watching and no one to answer to, at least not immediately. What are you going to do? I can promise you that this test will come. It does for everyone. Your answer will determine this: is your Christianity real or fake. Were you riding on your parents coattails and talking nice to the preacher or do you truly believe in your heart that Jesus is your Lord and Savior and ruler of your life?

You may want to answer by saying “we all stumble and fall to temptation.” First of all, let me say that I agree with that statement. We all do stumble and fall, but I have seen that statement used as an excuse too easily. Yes, we do stumble, but that won’t stop the judgment of God. We will have to answer to someone eventually! Secondly, I would ask what is your attitude after you sin?

Are you living a lie on the outside compared to what your heart feels on the inside? Are you acting one way when people you know are around and another when no one is watching? Read Matthew 23 and see what Jesus had to say to those who were religious on the outside but did not love God on the inside. Two-faced Christianity is not going to save you. Instead, it will condemn you.

But there is great HOPE! A little earlier I asked you about your attitude regarding your sins. Read Luke 18:9–14. Is your attitude toward sin like that of the tax collector or the Pharisee? Which one do you think is saved and which one do you think is two faced? So are you saved or two-faced? If you are saved give glory to God! If you are two-faced turn and repent now, for it will be more difficult later. You will be bogged down in your sin. Talk to a parent, family member, elder, pastor, or Christian friend with whom you are close. He or she can help pray for you, study the word of God with you, and make you accountable so you will no longer be two-faced.

When temptation comes you can be ready like other Christians who rely on the strength of the Holy Spirit and not themselves. Also, when you do stumble, you can know that you can repent to a loving Father in heaven. He will accept you because of what His Son has done for you on the cross!

Read the following passages keeping these questions in mind:

I John 3:18; Matthew 7:13–23; Galatians 5:16–25; Luke 18:9–14

How do we love?

What do our actions show?

How should you act and how should you not act?

What is your attitude towards sin?

Are you two-faced? What do you need to do change?

Mr. Dave Vander Meer is the Youth Director of the Cornerstone United Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan.

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