My freshman year at Georgetown High School meant that I was moving from being part of a smaller middle school to all three middle schools in our town combining into one high school. No matter who you were or what you did at your other school you were now joining other schools with students who could do the same things.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where I belonged or what my identity was as a 15 year old in Georgetown. For so long my identity had been wrapped up in popularity, girls, sports, and a small small small sprinkle in my faith. Because all these things came naturally and I was good at all of them, I never really had to try. I was already good enough. When people said I was good at something, or accepted, I took it as fact because OF COURSE I WAS.
However, entering high school I found myself having to try. I felt like I had to prove my belonging, find different settings, and it didn’t matter if I was told I was something because it didn’t seem like it to me. I hadn’t met what I thought were some prerequisites to acceptance and being good enough.
It’s likely, that your student is going through some similar stuff. That doesn’t make them weird or alone, but rather as part of a larger whole and some unspoken journeys of teenagers today.
In the midst of that many teenagers will try to find their identity in our youth ministry or as good kids who are attenders. They follow the rules, they do what’s asked of them, and they are trying to figure out the rules in other aspects of their life and find belonging in that way. They just want to be good enough.
The Galatians are experiencing something similar. In the book of Galatians, Paul has already preached the gospel to this church and they have accepted it, which is good news! However, since his leaving they have forgotten their first identity. In an effort to be accepted and titled children of God, they have leaned back on the old law and old practices and put their faith in those things to qualify them as children of the Kingdom.
Paul in his letter in Galatians 3:26-4:3 addresses this and reminds them that the law and their place in it no longer defines them. He calls them sons of God and reminds them of the inheritance they have already received in the Holy Spirit. He tells them that all this is only possible through faith in Jesus and nothing else.
As your student is trying to find identity, remind them this week that if they have a relationship with Jesus we have already found our family and been called “good enough” by the King. Not because of what we have done but because he has adopted us by his own grace.
This week, how will you remind your student to live like they are part of the family of God? How will they spend this semester gathering with their local family at 602 to learn more about the God that calls them son or daughter?