On Sunday, I gave a shout-out to the good kids, using my daughter, Madeline, as an example. By “good kids”, I mean those who have been doing it right from the time when they began having the option to really start doing it wrong. Then, this morning, as I was driving my folks to the airport, my dad told me about when his college prof and good friend Charles Ryrie was talking about the wild testimonies of so many bad people whom God had made good. Ryrie didn’t have that kind of testimony. He said that he was just “a saved good boy”. Too many youth and kids feel bad about being so good. Today I want to use this blog to celebrate all you “saved good boys and girls” out there. Great job doing it right!
For all of you who feel a little “less than” because you have what you believe is a boring testimony, let me challenge your assumptions. You are the spiritual warriors. You are the moral studs. How much harder is it to say “no” to temptation than it is to say “yes”? Any dingus can give in to temptation, and they usually do. That’s what makes them dinguses. But to say “no” when every fool around you is jumping in headfirst – that takes character. That is strength. This is especially true when you are being laughed at or being made fun of. For you to hold strong is high level holiness. Understand that. Celebrate that. Recognize that in your life.
Remember, you are the special ones. This is particularly true when it comes to purity. Anyone can lose their virginity. But once it’s gone, no one can get it back. They can be forgiven. They can turn over a new leaf. They can live a life of purity from that point on. But they can never get back what you have. What you have is so special and so rare in this culture. It elevates you above the rest of the riff-raff. Never let anyone mock you into giving it away. Never let anyone coax you into giving it away. Never let anyone shame you or tease you or logic you into letting that uniqueness go. Understand that any guy or girl who tries to talk it out of you is not someone who is worth being with. Why? Because they don’t love or respect you enough to protect the commitment you’ve made to God and with your future spouse. Kick them to the curb – they aren’t worth your time, let alone your virginity. And remember you’ve got scoreboard over anyone who is mocking you. You could become like them any time you choose. They, on the other hand, can never become like you.
Never feel bad about being good. You are living the way God intended you to live. It’s everyone else that’s getting it wrong. That’s also why you’re probably going to get knocked around by the world a little bit more. It’s because you’re different – a cut above. If you were a cut below, no one would care. But since your life and character shine with the light of God, when others see you they will often feel convicted of their own sin. Jesus called it right during the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11) Notice that He used the word “when”, not “if”. The sketchy folk are going to attack you for not being sketchy. When it happens, it’s not easy – it’s not fun. But know that Jesus sees, and when He does He’s pointing at you and fist-bumping the angels.
Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” That speaks of reward. It may be something immediate – that inner assurance He gives you that He’s with you. It may be a great friend group made up of other good kids. It may be when one of the not good kids comes to you because their life is falling apart and they want a little bit of the awesomeness you’ve got in your life and you’re able to lead them to Christ so that they become one of the good kids (and this run-on sentence is what keeps us from getting all spiritually arrogant, because we know that it’s our humble holiness that will draw people to Christ). It may be that wedding night when you tell your new husband or wife that you’ve saved yourself your whole life for them and for this moment and then…well, let’s just say that the saving is over and you will never regret the wait.
Winston Churchill was prime minister of Great Britain during World War II. In 1940, when the German Nazis were at their strongest and England and France were suffering defeat after defeat, Churchill gave an amazing speech. In it, he said, “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans…we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Churchill knew how important victory was and how devastating would be defeat. So, to all of you good ones, I say keep fighting the good fight. Fight in the schools, fight in your homes, fight on the internet, fight on social media, fight at the parties, fight on your dates. Never surrender! Never compromise! You are a warrior! And realize that those of us older folk understand your battle and we are watching you with awe and respect and honor. Keep it up. You are making us incredibly proud.