Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever. (Psalm 28:9 ESV)
Living in North London at the moment is pretty sobering. Just last week the third death of a teenager in nearly as many months was reported. The most recent death gave me chills. A 15 year old boy stabbed in a senseless attack. I’ve seen the CCTV and it’s just tragic. Another young man steps out in front of a bicycle and stabs the rider of the bike and then carries on walking as though it was nothing. Senseless, selfish and stupid.
I work with teenagers on a daily basis and often feel frustration at the senseless, selfish and stupid remarks and choices they can make at times. I love them. I really do. But sometimes, their blasé remarks leave me shuddering. In a society where gangsters are glamourised and sex sells though, perhaps we should ask who can blame them?
The generation coming up behind us, who are slightly older live in a totally different world to the one we lived in aged 15. So, what will we do about it? Stand by and watch, shaking our heads at yet another unwise teenager make yet another uneducated decision? Or perhaps we will stand with them. Help them. Show them alternatives. Show them love.
Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” When, if not now do our teenagers need safety? Need somewhere that offers freedom from the chains of people pleasing, peer pressure, images. Freedom from low self esteem, addiction, depression and anxiety.
Jesus is that somewhere. That someone, who give beauty for ashes and victory for those who were once bound. People need to know this victory. So, let’s be the abundance of counsellors, not the sideline whisperers. Jesus, our friend and one who sticks closer than a brother leading us as we lead them. As the opening psalm says- the people are His. HE will bring the victory and bless His heritage. I trust Him for that. I have to.