Hey, my name is Nick and I’m 16. I am a Christian and desire to be close to Christ. However, I increasingly find myself denying him by my conduct and attitudes. It is SO hard to be a comitted Christian as a teenager. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice.
My best advice is to find a youth group. You will find other kids with the same struggles as you are going through.
If you are Catholic go to onerock.com and click on forums. It is an international forum for Catholic Teens. Feelings and troubles of teens who want to live their faith is truly world wide.
If at all possible, do a holy hour each week. That has been a big help for me. Also, see if you can go on a retreat somewhere when school isn’t in session. I’ve been on two, both at the same place. It was at a place of solitude and silence. The first one was for a week, the second for two.
It was a place run by nuns, and I met with the one nun who ran the retreats every day. But I had my own little “hermitage.” It was basically a small trailer that was only a small bedroom and bathroom. I even ate my meals alone. This gave me plenty of time to think and pray without all the distractions. God got through to me more during those weeks than I had allowed Him in all my years before that time. And I’m now 42!!!
Well, the first thing is, don’t expect it to be easy. You can’t expect that. We are the church militant, which means we’re the ones still fighting. In particular, fighting against our sinful natures. It must be a real struggle, a real fight. That’s what makes choices matter. If it devotion cost you nothing, what would it be worth?
The second thing is, to pray. Pray a lot. You don’t need to spend hours and hours on your knees, but spend time talking to God throughout the day. Say short prayers over and over again. “My Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Living God, have Mercy on me a sinner” works well. Do your best to avoid all the occasions of sin you can. Keep yourself away from bad influences. When you are tempted by sinful thoughts, think of Jesus Crucified, suffering for you.
Depending on how spiritually mature you are, you could try abstaining from meat on Fridays, or anything else you feel appropriate. Begin teaching yourself that discomfort is ok. You won’t always be happy but if you start to train yourself to make sacrifices and by doing so, learn that God comes first, then things will get better. You’ll become a veteran solider in a very real war. But it will always be a war, nonetheless.
peace be with you! i would love to talk with you more about your question, however, it might be easier for you to talk with me if we did it by e-mail. you can e-mail me through my profile if you wish and we can talk. that way if you have more specific things to deal with i could better talk to you about them. i am a 21 year old male, so i definitely know what it is like to struggle through the teen years. it can be very hard. i actually started my ongoing conversion process when i was 16 and remember it like it was yesterday. but i noticed that even though i struggled with certain sins, that wasn’t nearly as hard for me as the feeling like i was going through it alone…that there was no one to talk to for help or no one who really went through what i did. of course i am not saying those feelings were worse than the sins (far from it!)…i just know what it is like to struggle with these things. i think i might be able to help you if we could speak more through e-mail. so if you wish, you are free to.
I sent you an e-mail, did you get it?
In Christ’s Love,