S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T T-A-L-K T-O T-E-E-N-S
Are you up for a challenge? Because I got one for you. A challenge, a dare, a venture. Ready?
I want you to look at yourself. Yes, that’s right. I want you to look at yourself.
And I’m going to help you.
Because it’s not easy to see yourself. Oh it’s really easy to see the other guys. You got them figured out, no prob. But what about you?
Close your eyes and think of a friend. A clear picture comes to mind, right? Now try to visualize yourself. Kind of hazy, isn’t it? Somehow it’s hard to remember what we look like, but easy to remember what everyone else looks like.
Likewise, it’s hard to see ourselves in true perspective. Things get hazy. Some fancy themselves as pretty good stuff while everyone else thinks they’re turkeys. And then there are those who consider themselves nerds while others would give them a nine-out-of-ten.
It’s hard to know yourself. Everyone thinks they are right on. It’s the other guy that has a problem seeing things right. But me? Hey!, what can I say? I’ve got the right slant on life. I’ve got my head on straight.
But have you? Let’s take a look.
Have you ever thought of yourself as someone else’s product? You are becoming what others are making you to be. You’re on the road you’re on for no other reason except everyone else is on the road you’re on. You go with the flow. Move in the groove. And at the end of the line is a finished product that has your name on it.
You are a product in the making. A teen heading for adult, not yet finished. You are young and pliable. You’re not settled in. You’re searching, open. In ten or twenty years you will be much less so. But right now you are, perhaps, more receptive to truth than you ever will be.
You will recognize truth if you want truth. Down the road you won’t want it so much. But right now you really want to know what it’s all about.
Truth isn’t so hard to find if you really want to find it. It’s like searching for a heater in a dark room. The closer you get the warmer it feels. The closer you get to truth the warmer it feels. Truth feels good. It can be found.
But let’s get back to you. I want you to see you. I want you to see you are being influenced by those around you to accept a certain mentality, their mentality. I want you to see there are many out there after your heart and mind – your loyalty. And I also want you to see that someone, or something, is going to get to you. Some day soon.
You are going to become converted to something or someone. Maybe one day you will be carrying a poster at a political campaign or union rally. Or perhaps you will end up in some religion doing funny things and trying to be good enough. Maybe you will be a humanist or activist. An agnostic or atheist. Or perhaps you will sell your soul to a business and go for the dollars. One thing is certain, you will become rigidly converted to something. Someone is going to proselytize you.
It’s like there’s a race for your mind. Everyone wants to steer your life, win your loyalty, get you to join their club. You are being coerced to embrace a specific mentality. There are people out there after your mind and heart. And one day you will be captured. By someone. Or something. Programmed? Me!? Hey, you got to be kidding. Nobody’s going to brainwash me. No way. I’m my own person. I think for myself, come to my own conclusion, do my own thing.
Yeah? Well how come you’re garbed just like the one sitting next to you in class. Your hair looks just like your pet tv god. And hey, guys, who’s idea was it to put an earring on your ear, etcetera? And those tattoos, ladies? Just doing your own thing, hunh?
Now don’t get uptight, I’m just making a point. Maybe there’s more peer pressure on you than you think. And just as you are compelled to dress in a certain fashion, the same pressure is on you to think and behave in a particular way.
And that’s not necessarily bad. I mean, hey! if someone is steering you right, why get nerved? If it works, don’t fix it, right?
But are you really in the right mode? Hey, I’m just asking you to look at it. Don’t be scared to challenge the accepted. Evolution is a case-in-point. It’s accepted tripe. The big guys can’t always be trusted. Don’t turn your brain off for nobody. Challenge. Consider. Think.
Think. Be free to think. Maybe, just maybe, you’re on the wrong road.
I’m going to tell you a couple of stories. True stories. Are you listening? This guy is about to graduate from university. One of the teachers addresses the graduation class and says to the students that he hopes they never attain their dream. Just like that. Hey, what a weird thing to say to a graduation class.
Second story. Same guy. He’s in the working world now. He’s appointed to this committee, see? This committee is a little different because nobody is appointed director or chairman or anything like that. What’s supposed to happen is the man that has it over all the rest is naturally going to assume leadership. And that’s what happened. Charlie was the man. I mean Charlie had it altogether. Like lots of money, nice wife and kids, brains, top of the ladder in his work, respect from the guys. Get the picture? One day Charlie doesn’t show up. The second-in-command makes the announcement: Charlie is dead; he shot himself in the head.
I know, it’s not a nice story. Stories aren’t supposed to end like that. Not for guys who got it made. But Charlie was one of those rare individuals who realized his dream. What he strove for he got. And when he got it he discovered it didn’t satisfy. He was as empty as ever.
When the announcement of Charlie’s suicide was made, two waves of emotion swept the room. First a real sympathy for the surviving wife and children, and then a wave of despair. The despair came because the one they all emulated thought so little of his life that he ended it; the one they wanted to be like killed himself.
The best the world has to offer will not fill you up. You think success is just around the corner, bliss comes right after graduation? Well it isn’t and it doesn’t. There is more pain and heartache in the adult world you’re walking into than the one you’re in now. Think you got it tough? Hey baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
I want you to look at yourself. Where are you going? What’s it all about? How are you going to make it?
I already said there’s a fight for your mind. Hey, I want you to know I’m in that fight. I want to influence your thinking. That’s what TEEN-Probe is all about. That’s what this entire paper is about. If this paper has undermined your confidence in the wisdom of men, hey that’s good!, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Respect, yes. Trust, no way.
I don’t want you to trust man, I want you to trust God. Man can’t, God can. Man’s ways don’t work, never have and never will. But God’s ways work. God’s way is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the only way to go. He is the way to life, a new life. Hey, a brand new life, one much better than the one you have now. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He, too, wants to capture your heart. He wants you on His turf, in His club. He wants you fighting on His side.
Okay, this is supposed to be straight talk, right? So I’ll give it to you as straight as I know how: Life without Christ is nutso!
Only one thing makes sense in this world and that is a life with Jesus. Nothing else will satisfy. Hey, do you hear me? Nothing else will fill that hole in your life. Living outside of Christ is empty and shallow. And entering into a Christless eternity – hey, I’m talking about dying – is nothing less than insanity.
Me? Hey, think what you like but I choose Christ. He died for me so I’ll live for Him and obey Him. No, it doesn’t make me socially accepted. Jesus isn’t fashionable. Some hate Christ, most reject Him, and they’re not going to buddy up to one of His friends. Making a decision to accept Christ won’t make you the darling of the class. Might make you an outsider. A life with Christ isn’t for wimps. Might take more stuff than you got.
I want you to look at your life. What are you leaning on? Who are you emulating? Where are you headed? What’s it all about?
Do you really think you’re a product of evolution? An accidental happening? Same value as a weed or slug? Something that lives for a while and then becomes nothing more than fertilizer?
Suppose you’re wrong? Think about it. Let’s say for argument’s sake you’re wrong and I’m right. Suppose you really do live forever and life doesn’t end in the sod but goes on and on. What will happen to you? Where will you go?
Suppose you really do have a creator? And this creator loves you. And He provided a new and better life for you. That it’s all yours for the receiving.
But you reject God’s salvation. You reject Christ. Not because Christ doesn’t make sense but because He isn’t fashionable. He isn’t in.
If everybody accepted Christ, you would too. You would go with the flow. Christ would cost nothing and make you accepted by your friends.
But it isn’t that way. Christ costs. You may lose friends. You may lose the approval of your peers. And yet there’s no other way. Jesus really is “the way, the truth and the life.”
So think about it. Get supposing. Look at all the angles. It’s your life.