Dear Teenager, He Has Already Won

Dear Teenager, 

I have good news. 

On this day long ago, Jesus Christ was crucified for you. Because of His suffering in the garden and on the cross, your sins have been paid for. Do you know what this means? 

He has already won. 

That may be confusing because we use the word “test” a lot. But please understand— this test is not ‘pass or fail.’ Jesus took the test for us and got a perfect score. And that A+ is yours, if you want it. 

Instead of pass or fail, think “growth.” This life is an opportunity, the best opportunity, to become as MUCH like Christ as you can. He’s not keeping any sort of score or giving you a grade. He just wants you to grow. And to help you grow, He asks that you obey Him. 

In other words, if you keep repenting, and keep practicing, and keep trying, you get 100% on the test. No matter how many mistakes you make. 

Because of Him. 

Look, I know you’ve done some things you aren’t proud of. So did a guy named Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends. But instead of giving up, he kept moving forward. Thankfully, Peter understood that obedience is NOT perfection. 

Obedience is repentance. 

It will take a long time, long after this life, to become perfect. After all, none of us come to earth with a clean slate of DNA. We inherited physical bodies preloaded with ancestral programming— some good and some bad. This is not an excuse for behavior, but it might help explain why you feel stuck sometimes. He understands all of this. He knows the cards you were dealt, both genetically and circumstantially. And He’s here to heal you from ALL of it. From things that aren’t your fault and from things that are. 

As long as you stay on His path- no matter WHERE you are on that path- you’re going to make it. If you get off, get back on. Don’t give up. You’re not “earning” heaven. You’re “learning” heaven. And you don’t have to prove yourself worthy of His victory. Because long ago, on that cross, He already decided you are. 

And that, my friend, is some pretty good news.

Mercy River