Student guest post #2 is from Taylor Jacobs, a former member of my youth group. He is a Sophomore at the University of Washington. I asked him to share one mistake he made while he was in high school that affected him in college. Check it out!!
I found that during high school, I had made my community my god, instead of allowing God to shape my community. When I was taken out of my community, my relationship with God suffered because I had let my community define how I interacted with God, instead of letting God define my community. I had fallen into the trap that many of us do. I had elevated a gift from the creator above the creator. When we start making the gifts of God an end, instead of a mean, we miss out. Because the true end is life in Jesus Christ. I was abusing the gifts that God had given me because I didn’t understand who I was in Christ or God’s gift of community. I had to realize that Jesus cares so much about me, he has given me gifts so that I am pointed to Him! Nothing God gives lacks purpose. If He has given it to you it must be for a purpose.
We must view our relationships through the eyes of Jesus. Because He is in perfect union with God, and He is the living Word of God and every time we choose to follow his way we win.
There is a good example in Scripture of idolizing things that are of God, but incomplete. All of Colossians 2 pleads with people to find their identity in Christ alone. Read the passage. Our identity must always be rooted in the “soma (body, reality, fullness)” of Jesus Christ, and never in the good things that God gives us. In order for community to be for you what God intended, you must make Christ the facilitator of community in your life. Within Christ alone lies the fullness of life!
As high schoolers, it is very easy take community and idolize it without even realizing it, even within a church community! We start allowing our community to replace our daily relationship with Christ, we stop reading about him, talking to him and ultimately we stop listening to him. Then, when you are taken out of that community, you feel like you are not loved or accepted by God anymore because there is no perceptible(capable of being perceived by the senses or the mind) acceptance, encouragement, or praise! But the truth is you must look to Christ for those things and not your community. Learn from my mistake and keep the gifts God gives you in their proper place.