Teenagers ask tough questions, which makes youth ministry immensely rewarding yet also challenging. Lately I’ve felt especially challenged when teaching youth lessons on sin and answering kids’ questions about sinfulness.
For example, a student recently shared these thoughts with me. “Adults always feel like they need to tell teens the same thing,” she said. “They tell us about how we can’t ever do anything so bad that God won’t love us. Yet no one wants to talk about the real issue. I get that forgiveness covers the horrible stuff. But that doesn’t keep me from doing things wrong. What if you’re a pretty good kid who just messes up all the time?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if sinning was simple? I mean, we grab our “Tin o’ Sin” and pop the top. Drink it down and “it feels so good to be so bad.” Well, sinning is pretty easy. I mean we…I…mess up ALL THE TIME.
God’s Word lays out the “yes” or “no” issues in uncomplicated fashion.
1. Don’t have any Gods before the one true God.
2. Don’t murder anyone.
3. Don’t lie.
It starts with the 10 Commandments. Then we can peer around the scriptures for the do’s and don’ts of life.
Handling Gray Areas
But what about all the gray areas? Today’s young people really struggle to understand how to live for the Lord. When considering youth lessons on sin, so many things are left to interpretation. Another student told me, “Sometimes I really struggle feeling connected to God. It’s hard to seek him.”
I wish “quick fixes” to the problems existed. Yet sometimes I struggle too. Am I sinning or not? I’ve learned that when teens are asking these types of questions, they’re making important decisions about who to follow.