You’ve been stuck for too long, and you’re the one holding yourself back. In order to change these things, here are a list of promises/things to do to try and rediscover who you are.
1) Promise to pray. Pray like your life depended on it because it does daily. Never lose communication with God; you know when you do, and it doesn’t make you feel comfortable. In all things, try and offer a little word of prayer to God before doing anything. You know that you don’t need to close your eyes to pray to God; always walk in a spirit of prayer. Don’t take pride in your prayer life, but try to set an example for others that you may encourage them to want to pray more also. Prayer is a powerful weapon that God has given you – don’t abuse it, but also don’t let it sit and gather rust.
2) Promise to laugh. Why have you become so serious all the time? Are you actually…growing up? Growing up doesn’t mean that you walk around sighing and rubbing your face in distress, buddy. Laughter is good for the heart, you know this more than most people do. Loosen up a little bit. Take joy in the things that you have and the people that are in your life. Find merriment in situations that God has placed you in, from success academically to struggles emotionally. Nothing is quite as strong as the person that can find time to smile in the face of disaster; confidence to laugh comes from faith in God.
3) Promise to love God over girls. You’ve been bitten so many times by this problem in the past and it’s showing no signs of stopping. It doesn’t hurt to be a hopeless romantic, but stay that way – hopeless – until it actually comes true. There’s no need to go around hoping or finding hope in girls that “captivate your soul.” Nonsense. You can still live life as a hopeless romantic just by looking around you; God’s display of His might and His mercy daily should fill you with His brand of romance – a pure one. Pay attention especially to this one because it’ll come in handy when the right girl walks around the corner.
4) Promise to encourage others. In this world, it’s not just about you and what you’re going to do, and how you’re feeling. You almost gave your life away years ago, and it was the people that God put in your life that you stayed for. So how is it that you are still so lacking in encouragement for your brothers and sisters? These are the people you are going to be loving and growing with over the next few years, so treat them right. This also goes for people you might meet outside of fellowship; God loves them and wants to use you as a way to encourage them, so that they might have a chance to know Him more.
5) Promise to spend time before God. You’ve never been the best at having quiet time with God, in part because you pray throughout the day. But think about all those prayers and how selfish they can be. Try to wake up fifteen minutes earlier than you normally would to just spend time at the feet of God and truly just admire how majestic He is. Meditate on things that you wouldn’t normally pray about so that in doing so, you may give God the glory He deserves. You might be surprised by how much more you learn to love God and discover His will by attuning your ears to hear His voice calling to you.
6) Promise to have, or at least pray for, grace. People are all different, coming from different backgrounds and having different experiences. Don’t be so proud about your lack of bias. You don’t truly know what people are going through or what is motivating them to do certain things. It could be that they care for you, but you just don’t see it because you’re utterly consumed with your own thoughts and judgments of others. And that’s not okay. Always remember that Jesus is who you are being conformed to; if He is able to always show others grace, pray that you might even come close to doing so also.
7) Promise to live your faith. The last one of the promises, and probably the hardest, but most important, one to keep. Don’t be the kind of Christian that is good at talking about faith and makes it so that you deceive others into thinking that your spiritual life is fantastic. Live it out in your actions, your conduct, and your attitudes towards things, so that they may truly have the sense that you are set apart for the Lord and that people may see that Christianity is not a religion as much as it is a lifestyle. Continue to allow Jesus to transform your heart and your being, and you will finally know His love.
You might have times where you feel like keeping all seven of these promises is impossible, and that’s okay. But do your best to work your way up to doing all seven. Challenge yourself each day and keep calling yourself out on things, then pray to God asking for the strength to persevere and the softness of heart to be molded into what He wants you to be. Do things for God and not for man; man will benefit from whatever you do if it is God’s will, even if it seems like it isn’t true in the short term. Realize that this is a lifelong project; don’t expect to even be able to get more than two of these promises down by the end of the school year. However, you’ll get better and better at it if you keep on pushing for it, so take heart.
I’ll leave you with a verse to encourage you to keep going and trusting in God. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Believe in the plan that He has for you.