Can Christian teens have fun?
Some think we're always serious and anti-fun, but Jesus gives us freedom to enjoy life.
When you think of Jesus and who He is to you, would you describe Him as being fun?
It’s an important question, because who God is to us will ultimately shape us. For example, if we think of God as only ever being serious and anti-fun, then as His followers, maybe that’s how we should act too.
I believe joy and fun are closely linked. When we accept and experience the true joy Christ offers, we’ll find the freedom to embrace the fun side of life.
How you feel affects how you act
The reality is, what we’re like on the inside makes a real difference on the outside. For example:
- If we are hurting, we'll likely hurt others (even if we don't mean to).
- If we are sad inside, then we’ll tend to find things to be sad about.
- On the flip side, if we’ve got joy in our hearts, others will notice that joy too.
Personally, as a young Christian I became so afraid of doing something wrong, that I lost my joy for a while. I didn't want to mess up my witness by making a mistake. But trying to be perfect didn’t work.
Along the path I hurt a friend's feelings. But when I apologized, our friendship actually deepened. My response to my failure became a testimony – no tract or perfection needed. The very thing I feared doing – messing up – God ended up using. He's like that. Now I try to relax and enjoy being with people, rather than worrying about what they think.
Be who God wants you to be
Worrying about what people think comes easy to most of us. Yet as God speaks more and more truth into our hearts, it becomes easier to focus on what He is thinking more than what others think.
Knowing what God says about us will help us navigate life, from the school hallways to social media pages. Knowing who we are also helps us see others for who they are. Sometimes we just need a friendly reminder. You never know when a smile might turn around someone's day. Classmates will notice genuine joy.
We know this joy isn't found in a bottle or in popularity. It isn't confined to Wednesday night youth group meetings. God living in us allows us to ooze joy in the hallway, look for God's design in someone (even if they don't know Him yet), and even see Jesus as fun.
Can Jesus, Creator of the Universe, Rescuer of all Humanity, Sin-Hater, Redeemer, Lamb, Lion of Judah… can He be fun? Let's take a look. He attended weddings, went fishing with friends, hung out at dinner parties… not to mention, He created some funny looking animals. It may be easier to think of Jesus as holy and perfect (which He most certainly is) but what if He is also fun?
I wonder if I would have relaxed more during high school if I'd realized God was Almighty and joyful. I might have been more free to be me without worry of someone else's response.
The joy of freedom
Jesus said, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
Our culture is crying for freedom: Freedom from our ailments, our oppressions, our fears, freedom to be joyful. And we know that Jesus is the only One who can bring true freedom, which is really in demand right now.
Ultimately, Jesus' acceptance is the only acceptance we need. Let his acceptance change you from the inside out. And then show off your freedom, smile at others, reach for excellence, but know you won’t ever hit perfection.
I've spent too many days showing the world a self who is disappointed with my imperfections. I'd like to turn the corner and dance around, embracing the freedom Christ offers, having fun, and showing the world love and joy.