Why Teens Must Read the Bible for Themselves
Start on the Right Foot
Teenagers are often wondering if the Bible is relevant in their own lives. Oftentimes, teenagers that are asking that question begin on a footing that is not very confident in their understanding of Scripture. When you start from that place and you think, “I don’t really know if the Bible is relevant to me,” you’re already starting off on the wrong footing.
Let’s say as a student you showed up to an AP math class and your teacher said, “Your entire grade for the entire year is going to be based on this one test at the end of the year.” She gave you the book and said, “All of the problems are in this book. It will tell you how to work all of the problems. I’m here for you. I will help you, but you have to show up on the last day of school and take this test.”
Come to it with the humility that says, “I need help understanding how God’s word speaks to me.”
If you said, “Oh, I don’t really know if that text actually has all of the answers because I’ve heard from a lot of people in my cafeteria that it’s a terrible book,” and you went about your entire school year just kind of outsourcing your knowledge of this AP test at the end of the year, asking your friends and parents, “How do I pass this test?” we would think that was ridiculous.
Let Scripture Guide
But that is what we tend to do with Scripture. We have a God who has created the entire universe and has graciously given us his word to guide us through a very complex world. A lot of people think, “It’s so complex.” Well, the world is old and the problems have not changed.
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When sin is at the root of it, we see this play out in different ways, but our problems are not more complex than they were when Scripture was written. And so if we really believe that God has created the world and given us his living, breathing word to guide us, then choosing to walk away from Scripture and think it’s not helpful is really the epitome of arrogance—to think that it cannot speak to us when Scripture has been effectively guiding Christians for over two thousand years.
So I would say to the teen that’s wondering if the Bible is relevant: ask someone to come alongside of you and begin to learn what Scripture says. Instead of saying, “Is it relevant?” say, “How is that relevant? Help me to understand.” Come to it with the humility that says, “I need help understanding how God’s word speaks to me.”
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