What is my responsibility as a Christian I am 17, and I am a little st - Bible Questions and Answers - Prayer Tents

Question

14. What is my responsibility as a Christian I am 17, and I am a little stressed I am not sure what I am supposed to do I know that faith without works is dead but we are saved by grace through faith? I believe but this verse keeps coming to mind. Am I supposed to share my faith with every person I meet or see? Should I give to every poor person?
Asked by: Male, North America, Christian, Under 18 on April 5, 2021 9:41:26 am

Answer

Thanks for such an excellent question. It is a question that we should ask throughout our lives. Your question is, how should we live, and secondly, are we living that way?

The brief answer is to live in the world ("do") though you are not of it ("heart"). Here is how Jesus prayed for His disciples:

John 17:14-18 (NLT) 
14I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

 

To live in the world means to be among other people and culture. Knowing that you are from North America, you would go to school through high school, then possibly go to college and beyond, work, and do other things that people of our culture generally do while honoring God. That would be what you "do," but the most critical thing that God desires of you is how you keep your heart.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 

 

Jesus teaches us what God desires of us, to love God and others.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) 
36"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" 37Jesus replied, "`You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments." 

 

So far, I know I am not directly answering your question—about what you should "do" with your life. However, these are the foundations where you must begin if you want to live for God. The heart is what matters to God. The heart drives the actions, and that is with what pleases God (see Psalms 51:17, 1Chronicles 29:17, Hebrews 11:6, and many others). Routine living without the heart does not please God (that's what this verse means, look it up: 1Samuel 15:22. See also Isaiah 29:13).

So, that is my response to people who may say something like, I am accepted by God and am a good Christian as long as I continue to give to the poor, continue to go to Sunday services, go out to every outreach event you can find, or continue to live a good life. No! Doing things without the heart does not honor God. However, doing those things because you love God, as God directs you, is where it counts.

(Just as a side note, when you observe many people who call themselves Christians today, you will find many people living with that belief. I encourage you to be different! Many Christians out in the workplaces feel they are honoring God by becoming the best *** (engineer, doctor, worker) they can be. They may go to church week after week to sit in the service to put a checkmark that they have done something for the Lord. On the other extreme, there are religious fanatics, where they attend every Christian activity thinking that they are honoring God the most. Some even go to seminaries and perhaps even become pastors though God has not called them to that.) 

So, what should you do? That depends for every child of God, and if you are asking "what is God's calling for me?" that is another discussion (write back if you want to have a conversation on that). Let me give you some Biblical ideas:

Maybe you need to become a slave and go to prison afterward by being falsely accused. That is what Joseph did. However, his heart for the Lord did not falter (This story is in Genesis 37, 39-40).

Perhaps, you need to become a fugitive running for your life from the government. That is what David did (This story is in 1Samuel 18, it is an excellent story to read).

(If you want more, read Hebrews 11 and go back to read each of the storylines of people presented there).

The two examples above are to show you that what we do is not always straightforward. It may be in line with the culture and teachings today (such as becoming an attorney or an electrician), or it may be completely different. Yet, it does not matter. What matters is your heart for the Lord and the actions you take as a result of it.

How can you know which way to go? Listen to the Holy Spirit. (This is the Christian Gospel, that because of what Jesus has done, we now have a direct relationship with God, and He would direct our paths (See Gospel 101). In other words, you must stay close to Him or "abide in Him." 

John 15:4-5 (NLT) 
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 

 

That is the answer to how you should live. Be close to God so that you hear Him and know His heart, then take actions as God directs you (that is the "do" that God desires from you).

How can you be close to God? Know the Word of God, that is, read the Bible daily. Spend time with God in prayer often, and trust God with everything. (If you want to know more, I encourage you to read a book I wrote called the "Dependence Prayer," where I address these in greater detail (dependenceprayer.com). NOTE: That book is not in any way affiliated with Got Questions Ministries).

As a general guideline for what you ought to aim to do, Jesus teaches us to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Salt refers to being effective. To be effective means to strive to do well in all things. It would generally be a flawed Christian testimony when people are sub-par in school or at work. The light refers to influence. It is making your faithful living, the way you live to honor God, known and attractive.

So it is good to do well in the culture of the world we live in today as long as your heart for God comes first. Remember, this is a guideline and how we should pray, but God may direct our lives to become a prisoner or a fugitive like I shared before. In the end, what we "did" on earth would not matter, but our hearts and the actions we took as a result of our hearts would.

I'll suggest few actions for you to move forward. Be part of a small group of Christians who love God. The small group may be within your church, other Christian organizations, or with some of your faithful Christian friends (if you struggle to find one, let me know). Love God together, gather often, and share lives together. Sharing lives together in small groups is how the Christian church was when Jesus's disciples first formed it (See Acts 2:42-47). They encouraged each other to grow in Christ while attracting others to join in a community together with them.

To reiterate, what you do in this world does not matter. Your heart is what God is after (1Samuel 16:7). Seek to do what God wants (Matthew 6:33), and He will take care of all your needs. Doing so can mean you would be faced with what the world considers success, such as becoming wealthy and famous, or it can mean you become despised as a criminal. Both can be detrimental or become a strength. For example, if you are successful in the world's standards, you may turn away from God (many examples in Scripture, see Proverbs 30:8-9). It is because you can turn your heart away from God that you need to be among a small group of other believers who know you and would challenge you when you veer off course.

Finally, addressing whether you should go tell everyone you meet about God or giving to the poor, the answer is yes when God directs you. 

I love your question and your heart to live for the Lord. I commend you and encourage you to keep going. Stay strong, brother!



Answered by Dr. Sang Sur





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