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We’ve all been there … that “we need to talk” moment when a student approaches you with serious business in mind. And the confession comes … “I’ve been sleeping with my girlfriend.” “I stole something from my parents.” “I’ve been getting drunk with my friends.” “I lied about a speeding ticket.” “I’m pregnant.” One of the greatest privileges we have as youth workers, yet an equally great challenge, is helping students deal with their sin. Because of the role you play in their lives, you will be the one to whom many turn with a specific sin they are burdened with.
When a student confesses a sin and asks for your help in working through it, how do you respond?
Students - Situation - Role - Ability - Willingness
How we respond to students in this situation may very well play a major role in their ability and/or willingness to put the sin behind them and move on in their life as a Christ-follower. Here are a few thoughts on how to help teenagers deal with their sin, and work through it:
Listen With Compassion, Not Judgment.
People - Rom - Paul - Romans - Struggle
All people sin (Rom. 3:23). And like Paul expressed so effectively in Romans 7, the struggle with sin burdens Christ-followers who, in their hearts, long to live right lives. Resist the urge to be self-righteous. See the student as a Christ-follower who desires to do right, but has given in to his or her sin nature. Engage with empathy and compassion, not judgment.
Place the Sin in Context With God’s Word.
Reason - Paul - Timothy - Scripture - Tim
There is a reason Paul urged Timothy to use Scripture to “rebuke and correct” (2 Tim. 3:16). Sin is a deviation from God’s standard of holiness. When a student confesses a sin, and you have listened with compassion as they spell it out, your first move should be to basically affirm that they have indeed “fallen short”...
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