To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction. – Proverbs 12:1
If you want to be good at something, it takes discipline. If you play an instrument, you have to practice, if you play a sport you have to train and eat right to be better. To grow in any area in life you’ve got to discipline yourself.
If you want to become a person of character, you’ve got to love discipline. Discipline not easy and it’s certainly not fun. Discipline is hard work. But if you want to learn, to grow, and to be better, you’ve got to learn to love discipline.
That’s what this verse is encouraging us to do. To become better at anything we’ve got to embrace correction and love discipline. When we do we will learn and grow.
It’s the small choices you make that set you apart from others. So decide that you’re going to discipline yourself to make good choices. It’s those choices that determine where you end up in life.
It happens at some point in all of our lives. Something unexpected happens. It’s nothing you planned on. Things are no longer the same, and what once felt solid is no more. Life has thrown us a curve ball. It might be the divorce of our parents. It could be something at school. Whatever it is, sometimes its hard to know what to do.
So what do you do when life throws you something unexpected? What do you do when it feels like your family is falling a part around you? Where do you turn when it feels like there is nothing left for you to do? Here’s a few things I learned when going through a really hard time in life a few years ago.
1. Don’t let your relationship with God fall between the cracks. It can be really easy to want to let this happen. You might not understand why this is happening to you. It can be easy in times like these to let go of your relationship with God. You might want to blame God, or just not feel close to him in though times. The thing to remember is that God is not the source of the bad things that happen to you. Don’t let a rough time in life steal your relationship with God.
Your relationship with God is what will get you through the tough times. It can be your foundation when it feels like the world is falling apart around you. Choose to stay close to God and rely on Him in tough times.
2. Don’t Take It Out On Others. It can be easy when you feel upset to want to take it out on other people. Maybe you are hurt and angry and want to yell at everyone who talks to you. However, taking it out on other people is never the answer. You will ultimately drive people who love you and care about you away if you begin to take it out on them. These people can be your support when times are tough.
3. Learn from it. As much as life’s tough times stink, you can use tough times to learn. You may be able to help out someone in the future who is going through what you are facing. You can be an encouragement to others who are going through tough times by learning from those tough times.
Tough times also show you a lot about yourself. You may find that you don’t have the character you thought you did because you came unglued in a tough time. You may learn that you have some areas in your life that you need to work on. Tough times are a good indicator of character.
4. Look up. When life doesn’t go the way you wanted, know that you can look up. Jesus is your answer to life’s problems. He understands what you’re going through completely. He can be your anchor in the midst of life’s storms.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. – Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)
When life doesn’t go the way you wanted it to, its never easy. The good thing to remember is that you’re not alone. You’ve got Jesus on your side. Don’t forget to lean on him in tough times and in good times!
Most likely your goal in life is not to fail. Failure isn’t something that is rewarded in society. If you fail your math test, you don’t get a high five from your friends. If you fail to remember your girlfriend’s birthday, you don’t get a party thrown for you. If you fail to remember to do your homework, your teacher doesn’t give you extra credit. Failure is not something that people are searching for. If we’re honest, most of us would like to avoid failure at all costs.
However, failure isn’t always as bad as it seems. There can be times in your life that failure can be your friend. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
- When It Helps You Learn.
When failure helps you learn it isn’t bad. Instead of holding your head down because you failed, choose to look at failure as an opportunity to learn. When you learn from your mistakes, you grow stronger.
One time I had a chance to learn from failure came when I bought a new car. The car I purchased hadn’t been checked out by a mechanic. When I got it home, to my horror the car ended up costing more to fix than the purchase price. I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. I learned to not buy a car unless its been inspected by a mechanic.
- When It Motivates You.
Failure isn’t always bad if it motivates you to do better. I learned this lesson when I had a job as a waitress. I was bad at waiting tables. I was so bad that my boss told me I should look for another job because I wasn’t catching on. I could have given up. I could have said this just isn’t for me, or I won’t get it. However, I let my failure motivate me to do better. I memorized the restaurant’s menu. I came in early to practice entering orders in the computer. Eventually, with some time, I got really good at my job.
Failure isn’t bad when you’re able to let it motivate you to do better. Click to Tweet When you fail, don’t let it stop you. Instead use your failure to push you to be better.
The good thing to know about failure is that everyone experiences it. One of the best stories in the Bible about failure is the story of Moses. Moses knew that God had an awesome plan for his life, and he got a little too excited about it. In his excitement, he ended up killing another man. He failed big time.
The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge? Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses was afraid, thinking, “Everyone knows what I did.” – Exodus 2:4
The great thing about Moses though was that he did recover from his failure. He was able to accomplish the plan that God had for him and his life. He was able to walk away from a huge failure and step into the awesome things that God had for him.
It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. – Hebrews 11:27
Moses led Israel out of slavery and become one of the great heroes in the Bible. He didn’t let his shortcomings stop him.
I don’t know what you’re facing. You might have messed up in a big way. You may feel like there’s no hope or that you’re worthless because of your failure. However, that’s not the truth. The truth is we don’t always make the right decisions and we don’t always do the right thing, but if we will let failure teach us and motivate us to be better, we can become a friend of failure.
Sometimes You Win–Sometimes You Learn for Teens: How to Turn a Loss into a Win
This book will help you turn a loss into a win in your life!
You probably cringe at the word discipline. You might think of that time you got in trouble for stealing your brother’s allowance and were grounded for a month. Most likely, you don’t think about discipline in a positive light. Discipline is usually never easy and most of the time hurts your flesh. But discipline can be good too. Here’s a few reasons why.
- Discipline helps you grow – As much as it stinks to be disciplined by a parent, authority figure, or someone else, it can also help you grow. Being disciplined points out areas in your life that you might be weak in or in need of some tweaking. Though discipline hurts, in the end, you come out learning and growing!
- Discipline makes you stronger. – Discipline seems to always hurt a bit when you’re in the middle of it, but if you keep a good attitude and your heart right, you find out that you’re able to come out on the other side stronger and better for it.
- Discipline keeps you humble. – Discipline has a way of keeping you humble. There is nothing like being corrected to really keep you from getting a big head or thinking too much of yourself. Discipline keeps you humble.
- Discipline helps you learn. – Most of the lessons in character I remember from growing up came from being disciplined. There is something about being corrected and disciplined that makes you remember your mistake. If you choose to not get upset but to learn from being disciplined, you’ll find that you’re able to grow into a person that has more character.
Discipline is a good thing, even though it hurts sometimes. It helps you grow and learn. So no matter where discipline comes from (parents, teachers, etc) remember that God has placed those people in your life to help you grow stronger and learn from your mistakes.
Let us know your thoughts: What comes to your mind when you think about discipline?
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens This is an awesome book with great suggestions on how to develop good habits. The habits you develop can make or break you!
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Most actors who play the part of a real life person will study to get into character of the person they are playing. For example a professional actor who would represent Abraham Lincoln would study his life by reading books to get all the facts of his life. Then they might read his writings to get an idea of how he thought. In other words, they study the person to understand them to the point that they almost become like him in order to “act the part” .
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Hebrews 6:12 states “That ye be not slothful but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”[/quote]
This word “ followers” indicates acting or copying someone. Like the good actor who studies and tries to mimic the person he is depicting, we are told to do that too. Who are we to mimic or copy?
The Bible says those who spiritually are our leaders. Those who have faith and character and have stood up morally in hard times. Jesus certainly is that leader to want to replicate. Your pastor or a leader at your church might be such a person.
Study them and listen to what they say. Study what they do in difficult situations. The more you study good examples of godly people, you will begin to talk like them and act like them. In fact, we are told to do that! Study how they treat their other people. Study what they do under pressure. You can learn to follow or replicate them.
If you follow many celebrities of today, you will see they are in trouble with the law and their relationships don’t often last. These are not the people you want to follow because you don’t want the failure they have experienced in your life.
True heroes may not be on television- they may be in your church or in your own home.
Prayer: Father, show me the people around me that have your promises and blessings operating in their lives. Help me to learn from them and study their actions so I can learn to copy their success. Help me to manage my money correctly. Open my eyes to the people you have placed in my life like my pastors and parents so I can learn from them.
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Getting started praying can be tough at times. You might not feel like you know what to say to God or just feel a little silly praying in general. One way to make praying easier is to ask someone else to join your prayer time. The Bible gives us an example of this in Matthew.
When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. – Matthew 18:19 (Message)
This verse says God goes into action when we come together to pray. That’s exciting to think about, and shows us there is power when we come together to pray. The Bible shows us there is something special when people find a promise in the Bible and pray it out together.
When praying with someone, be careful to not pray alone with someone of the opposite sex. Prayer is a really cool thing, but praying alone with someone of the opposite sex can lead to some intense emotions and feelings. Rather than doing something you might later regret, avoid praying alone with the opposite sex.
Prayer is an awesome thing. So freshen up your prayer life by finding a good friend or mentor in your church or youth group that you can get together to pray with. The Bible says that God goes into action when we pray together.
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It can be easy to skip over reading the Old Testament. It has like a million books, plus it can’t be cool because its got the name old in it, right?
Well, the Old Testament does have some pretty awesome things to offer, so check out our list of reasons why the Old Testament is still cool in our book:
- The Old Testament is what the New Testament is built on. – There are tons of quotes in the New Testament that link back to the Old. Plus, reading the Old Testament helps us understand what the New has to offer.
- Jesus Liked It – If Jesus used it, we can use it too. The New Testament wasn’t written when Jesus was on earth, so He used the Old Testament. In my book, if its good enough for the son of God, its probably good enough for us too.
- The Old Testament shows us Jesus and New Testament truths – The Old Testament shows us why we needed Jesus. It also shows us lots of great truths that help us understand the New Testament better.
- The stories are pretty sweet – Some of the stories in the Old Testament are just plain sweet! David killing a giant, the walls of Jericho falling down, and lots more. These stories are incredible and show us how great our God really is.
There are tons of reasons why the Old Testament is still cool. We’ve just threw out a few that we liked. When reading the Bible, make sure you take some time to read the Old Testament too. It can be a huge help to your relationship with God.
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Summer break is in full swing for most students. With all that free time, it can be easy to get bored really fast. So, here’s some ways to to make your summer vacation epically awesome!
- Do something crazy – This doesn’t mean jumping off a bridge or risking your life. It means grab a few of your friends and do something out of the ordinary. Fill up a ton of water balloons with pudding and have a really sticky crazy water balloon fight. Or maybe create a scavenger hunt for your friends. Be creative and find something really fun and different you can do this summer with your friends.
- Read a Book – This might seem totally lame, but you can use this summer to read some great books. Find a book on leadership or read to learn something new about God. There’s tons of books out there that can challenge you to learn and grow. Here’s a few we really like:
- Learn something new – Take your extra time this summer and invest in learning something new. YouTube how to play drums. Ask your grandma to teach you how to sew. Read a self-help book on how to create a website. Find something that you’ve always wanted to be able to do and learn how to do it this summer.
- Get to know God better – Invest some time this summer into prayer and Bible study. Find a great private place where you can plug your headphones in and worship God to an awesome worship CD. Really invest into getting to know God. Time spent getting to know God is never wasted!
- Overcome a Fear – What’s something you’re afraid of? Can you overcome it this summer? Can you force yourself to talk to someone you don’t know? Can you ride that roller coaster that you’ve been avoiding because it just looks too scary? Find a fear and decide to overcome it this summer.
- Give Back – Don’t make this summer just about you. Find a way to give back. Offer to cut the grass for an older neighbor. Volunteer to help clean at your church. Go on a missions trip this summer. Find a need somewhere and meet it. Give back to those around you. Decide to help others this summer.
These are just a few suggestions to making your summer one to remember. If you set your mind to it, you can kick the summer boredom blues and make your summer one that is truly epic!
My freshman year of high school was a nerve racking experience for me. I was stressed out about going to a new school and made a few mistakes during my freshman year. This devotion for teens covers the lessons I learned from my freshman year.
1. Living to make others happy doesn’t work– If you think that you can make others happy, that’s a mistake. The happiness of others is not your responsibility. If you live your life trying to keep other people happy all you’ll end up with is a stomach ache. Living to make others happy just doesn’t work. Live for what you know is right and don’t worry about what people at school might think.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 ESV)
2. Stay involved at school– Its easy to when life gets stressful to want to pull back. However, dropping out of sports and other activities can be a mistake. Sometimes the diversion from schoolwork can really help with your grades. Also, getting involved gives you the chance to meet new friends and learn new things. Put your hand to something at school and you’ll be a lot more satisfied and happy.
Let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. (Ephesians 4:28 NKJV)
3.Be Friendly – To have friends you must be friendly. It can feel safer and easier to talk to only those people that you know and feel comfortable around. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and talk to others. You might find that God will use you to minister to or encourage someone else.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
4. God will always have your back. Always remember that no matter how stressful school is or how stressful other relationships are that Jesus understands where you’re coming from. He went through the same things you did while on earth and he can be a friend when you need one. He’ll always be there to listen and help you through tough situations.
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
I believe the lessons I learned as a freshman will help you and encourage you as you head back to school. Being at school comes with lots of challenges but if you keep God in the loop he’ll help you with everything that you’re facing.
There’s not many things that smell worse than stinky shoes. I’m sure you’ve come across a pair that has that odor with the extra kick. Maybe its your brother’s basketball shoes. You know the ones that make you gag a little when you pick them up?
It seems like shoes can get stinky pretty easily. Its just the nature of them. You put them on, run around in them for a few days, and they start to accumulate that funky stinky feet odor. But many times, because you wear the shoes all the time, you don’t notice the odor. Its easy to become accustomed to the foot odor and not realize…your feet stink.
You know that’s a lot like personal growth. Its easy to become so accustomed to your daily activities, routines and things that we can forget to grow personally. Unless we try to do something beyond what we’ve already mastered, we won’t grow.
That principle can apply to lots of areas in our lives. If we don’t push ourselves to grow, we can easily become stinky and not realize it. The Bible says it like this:
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize- 1 Cor 9:25 (NLT)
To win, you’ve got to be disciplined in training. You’ve got to push yourself beyond where you’re comfortable in natural things and in spiritual things. So decide today that you’re not going to become stinky like your shoes sometimes get. Decide to keep pushing yourself forward in your relationship with God and in your habits and routines. The secret to your failure or your success is found in your daily routines.