And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.Jude 1:22 (NLT)
I have been blessed to teach bible classes Christian schools for nearly a decade. It is always amazing to me how hungry teens are for biblical truth. I believe we sometimes take it easy on them, not believing they can handle the deep theology of the scriptures. However, I have found that they are not only willing, but capable of digging into the scriptures and “getting it.”
Additionally, I love the fact that they ask great questions that many of us from the older generations have don’t. They challenge the bible in regard to current events, societal norms (what society says is OK), and why we believe what we as Christians believe. I love that about them! Why? Because they are seeking answers.
The unfortunate reality is that those of us who are supposed to be knowledgeable and mentor our teens in the faith and scriptures don’t help them in their struggle to answer their burning questions. Telling teens “because I said so,” or “because I just know,” or even “trust me” doesn’t cut it. Teens tune out when someone cops out. I’m not just singling out academy bible teachers. I’m also talking to parents, pastors, Sabbath School teachers, and anyone who has a responsibility of mentoring our kids.
As the book of Jude states, “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.” We cannot show mercy without getting involved. When we neglect our duties to mentor/disciple, we are not showing mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Giving pat answers or cop outs isn’t showing mercy. It’s demonstrating laziness.
We must dig into God’s word and let it speak to the current society. All of the moral lessons and truths that we need to answer our burning questions are contained in there. The most important questions that we must be able to dialog with our young people are things such as sexual orientation, gender identity, social justice, creation, and ethics. The answers are there if we just dig in.
So, dig in to the scriptures. Ask hard questions. Seek true answers. When we do so, then we can show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.