Welcome to We Hear YA!
Connecting YA Writers with their Teen Audience.
We Hear YA is thrilled to share teen insights from members of the First United Methodist Church Youth Ministry in Tupelo, MS!
We asked each of these teens...
Q: What does being religious mean to you and how does this affect the choices you make as you interact with peers?
Rachel, 11th grade girl
Being religious isn't only a public thing for me, being religious effects my morals and personal life. Being religious for me effects the way I see and interact with people. Being religious makes me more loving and caring towards everyone. Jesus loved everyone, no matter what their race, sexuality, disability, or social class. I try to follow him the best I can through this. Every day I try to be kinder than I was the last, whether it's holding the door for someone, complimenting a stranger on their outfit, or consoling a friend. All of these things can make someone happier, and being religious teaches me to think of others before myself. Of course sometimes I struggle with wanting things for myself like clothing, I'm especially guilty of this, but the money I spend there could go other places like gifts for a friend or donation to a charity. Being religious makes me accountable for the mistakes I make.
Being religious means following Jesus no matter the circumstance. And circumstances can often be difficult. It means showing Christ's love among a group of snotty teenage girls. All my friends claim to be Christian just like I do. We all have our faults and we all forget to treat others right though. Being a Christian means that I have to stick up for my friend when another one of our friends is casually trying to exclude her. I have to be the go between & be nice to both friends. It's not that I have to, it's my choice. I choose to follow Christ and I choose to stick up for him and his people.
Chris, 12th grade boy
My religion to me is one of my top priorities, because in past I haven't been very close to God and I'm really trying to get closer with him It does effect choices I make with peers because I take into account that doing what makes my God happy may not be what other people think is cool.
Megan, 12th grade girl
Being religious means being able to put God before materialistic and worldly things. Especially as a teenager it's really hard because you have to choose between going out with your friends and being surrounded by temptations versus not going out with your friends and directing your attention to God instead. I have had the hardest time balancing out God and social life which sounds crazy but it really is hard in high school to resist things. To be religious means for others to see Christ through you instead of being a bad influence.
Thank you for your replies & inspirational insights!