Plant Yourself Where You Flourish
Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
May the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else. 1 Thessalonians 3:12
Just as Brian bursts out the door from school, his volleyball coach swoops down and not-so-gently breaks the news that he wasn’t voted team captain.
Brian feels rotten—bad enough that he considers skipping his Bible-club meeting and numbing his pain with a gallon of ice cream. But somehow he knows that rolling bellyfirst into a lump of self-pity won’t solve anything.
When he mumbles to his friends at Bible club what a loser he is, they not only make him stop trashing himself but remind him how talented and helpful he is both at school and in the group. He leaves the group knowing he’s liked, appreciated, and needed. He goes away with a better picture of who he is.
Sound silly? Not really. Admit it: Having friends who pick you up when you’re down is better than getting beat up by insults and sarcasm.
The Bible says that God sees us as lovable, valuable, and capable—and we have every right to see ourselves that way. Along with getting those facts straight from God’s Word, getting around the right people is an unbeatable way to drive those facts home.
Get away from people who treat you like a dirtball—and find some people who believe in you big-time, like God does. Here are some ways to make that happen:
Find friends who accept you for who you are. You aren’t shopping for people with the fastest mouths or the coolest clothes, but people who let you be yourself because they are comfortable with themselves.
Find adult friends and leaders who let you dream and try big new things—like volunteering, doing ministry, stretching your brain, or mastering physical challenges. It’s easy to spot grown-ups who want to help you discover the strengths God has built into you.
Be consistent in attending a Sunday school class or midweek church group where the atmosphere isn’t charged with sarcasm and verbal slams.
Join a small group of Christians where you can be up front about your struggles. Let them love and care for you.
Got the picture? Wherever we find it, an environment that can help us get rid of a self-image not worth wallowing in is the best spot we can be!
TALK: How can you get tight with a group of Christian friends who express love to one another, value one another, and serve one another in practical ways?
PRAY: God, lead us to friendships where we can feel welcomed and built up as people who are lovable, valuable, and capable.
ACT: Check your calendar. When are you making time to get built up by your Christian friends this week?