Romans 12:9 says, Love must be sincere. We all know that girl at school who is all fake and friendly to your face but then says nasty things about people behind their backs - that's not sincere or love. Sincere love is real, not fake. It's genuine hugs (even if your friend is a blubbering, snotty mess or even if it's not your friend), sitting next to the kid who's alone at lunch and having a real conversation, really listening to people, lending someone your favourite pen (even if you know it will never come back), not gossiping about people or saying bad things about them... It's not just words, but actions as well. Love people because God loves them.
One of my favourite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:9, "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I am completely inadequate and unqualified for most of the things life throws at me. But when I am weak, His grace and strength and love work through me. God doesn't choose the mighty and powerful, he chooses the weak and humble. King David started life as a shepherd. Rahab, who rescued the Israelite spies, was a prostitute. Joseph was the youngest of his brothers and was sold as a slave, but he became second in charge in the land of Egypt. The disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen. Verse 10 goes on to say, "that is why, for Christ's sake, I will delight in weaknesses, in insults, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
When salmon are ready to lay their eggs they swim upstream to the place they were born. Swimming with the current requires very little effort but swimming against it requires a lot, especially when there are waterfalls and rapids to jump up as well. Matthew 7:13-14 says Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Conforming and fitting in is often easy, but we were called to conform to the image of Christ, not this world - to choose love instead of hate, purity instead of promiscuity, humility instead of vanity, peace instead of conflict...
Here is some great advice from Cary Schmidt who is a Baptist pastor in the US. The first three are:
1. You are of eternal value and significance because God doesn't make junk.
2. You have an amazing contribution to make to the lives of others.
3. Your only hope for real happiness is a is a real, private, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
To find out more and read the others see the full article here.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.