7 Questions That Teens Need to Answer

Be Alert

You are a teenager: that means you are in one of the most exciting and most important times of your life! I want to alert you to seven questions you will face that will influence the shape and direction of the rest of your life.

1. What will be the meaning and purpose of your life?

So far, your values—the things you think are worth living for—have been shaped by your parents. You begin to make that critical decision for yourself during your teen years. What will be the thing that will capture your heart and shape the direction of your life?

2. Will you internalize the faith you have been taught?

There is probably no more significant decision in life than this one. Everyone believes something. Every home has religious convictions, whether or not they consider themselves religious. Every home seeks to instill their “faith” in their children. In the teen years, you will decide what you will believe about God, about yourself, about right and wrong, about what is true and what is false, about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and about how you will live out your beliefs in everyday life.

New Morning Mercies for Teens

Paul David Tripp

This encouraging book by author Paul David Tripp offers 366 readings, adapted to help teenagers trust God and rely on his grace each and every day.

3. What significant decisions will shape your future?

Wow, there are huge decisions ahead of you! What are your gifts, interests, and passions? What do you see as your life’s work? Where will you go to college? Will the church be an essential part of your life? If you could have your dream future, what would it be?

4. What will you do as you begin stepping outside of daily parental protection?

During the younger years of your life, your parents made all of your decisions for you. During the teen years, you begin to make more and more of those decisions for yourself. I don’t mean that you no longer need parents. However, you are moving into a stage where rather than exercising total control over your life, your parents will offer you wise counsel, while you will bear more and more of the burden of making the decisions that will shape how you live.

5. What kind of community will you surround yourself with?

This is a big one. Until now, your mom, dad, grandparent, or guardian have chosen the community they felt comfortable having you in. They were the gatekeepers, vetting the friends that came into your life. But now, you will increasingly have the responsibility. Who will you allow into your life? Whose advice and counsel will you listen to? Who will you entrust with the important things in your life? Who will you allow to influence the way you think and the way that you live? You will surround yourself with others, and those people will significantly impact who you become.

What will be the thing that will capture your heart and shape the direction of your life?

6. How seriously will you pursue your relationship with God?

Most teens were first exposed to God, his will, and his way in their homes and by their parents. My mom and dad thought a relationship with God was the most important thing for me, but I had to decide that for myself at some point (which I did during my teen years). No one can make you love God. No one can make you willing to surrender your heart and life to him. No one has the power to produce faith in you. Will you make God the center of your life? Will you pursue him every day?

7. What kind of success will you value most?

Every human being runs after some type of success. Everybody defines what a successful life is. Will you live for material success? Will you live for career success? Will you define success in money terms? Will success be determined by how many people love and respect you? Will success be defined as living a life pleasing to your Creator? You will define success somehow, and how you define it will determine how you live.

Since you will be asked to grapple with life-shaping issues in your teen years, you will need reliable, true, and trustworthy guidance. What will be your life GPS? Whose plan for life will you follow? I love what the Bible says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God gave you his word to be a guide to you. As you walk through the forest of life, often dark with roots that will trip you up, the Bible has been given to you to light the way so you can be sure of where to go and how to get there. The central theme of the word of God is the story of the transforming grace that is ours because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Be reminded of the truths of God’s word day after day. May it cause you to admit how much you need the forgiving, reconciling, and transforming grace of Jesus. And may it give you wisdom from God’s word to live by. There is no better way to prepare for all the significant issues that will shape your future than to spend time every day meditating on God’s truth, remembering his grace, and recommitting yourself to a life shaped by following him.

This article is adapted from New Morning Mercies for Teens: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp.

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