You’re serving God, living closer to God, receiving God’s love and experiencing joy and confidence. You’re not selfish, so you want to share this love and live that you are experiencing. You want to do this so that we each live closer to God. You’re particularly concerned about sharing your love with the young. However, you have one problem—your age.
Is it really a problem? Truth be told, the only problem is one of perception. You see, there is this misconception that to reach young people you have to be young. Well, if you’re paying attention to the USA presidential primary season 2016 you would see for yourself that this is not so. You can be sharing your love with the young, regardless of your age. Here are three tips to help you do so.
#1 Be Loving when Sharing Your Love
Love can break through barriers. The absence of love builds them. It’s pointless seeking to share your love if you will not do so in a loving manner.
Love young people as they are, for who they are and not who you think they should be. This means that even when their behavior seems unacceptable, you still love them. It means that even when their circumstances are not ideal, you sill love them.
What’s important to remember is that in sharing your love, you’re really sharing God’s love which you have received and out of which you are living. When this is the case, your supply of love is unending and unconditional. Thus, in dependence on God, you are a living example of God’s love. You do not have to fake it.
#2 Be Genuine in Sharing Your Love
Young people are good at spotting fakes a mile off. Thus, in sharing your love you must be genuine. Be who you are and not who you think they want you to be. Do not patronize young people nor be condescending. See them as human beings and not a category. Let your attitudes, words, and actions come from you heart.
Furthermore, be genuine in your concern, be genuinely interested in who they are and not who you think they should be. This means getting to know them and the circumstances that help to shape them. Remember that a smile, a greeting and a question asked out of real concern can go a long way.
Moreover, be genuinely interested in who they are becoming. I remember a conversation with a young lady I had never seen before and may never see again. We got to talking about her plans. She had recently moved to the area. As we spoke, I realized that she did not know the full options re community colleges in the area. I told her what I knew and directed her to sources of more information. With a “God bless you” we went our different paths. Which brings us to something else.
In being genuine, you may not get an opportunity to go through the full details of God’s love for them and the difference it would make in their lives. However, if you are real in your love and interest and you do this in the name of the Lord, you can leave with them with a “God bless you” and a prayer for God to water what you have sown and “give the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:5–7).
#3 Be Prayerful in Your Sharing
Ask God to continually fill you with this love which comes from God. Then, pray in love for the young people with whom you come into contact. Do so whether or not you’re able to speak with them. As you become aware of what’s happening with them, pray about it. If you see them in danger or engaging in risky behavior, pray for them. Replace talking about it or criticizing it with prayer.
Pray for the right words when it is time to speak. God knows them way better than you ever could. Ask God to tell you what to say that would touch their hearts and cause them to be open to hearing more. Ask God to make you a loving and real presence, that Jesus Christ would shine through you as you go about sharing your love.
Once God has placed a young person before you and/or on your heart, pray for them even when they are not in front of you. Keep them in your heart and your memory and ask God to make the change that is needed. At the end of the day, you are a vessel. Any change has to be brought about by God.
Regardless of your age, God can use you so that we each live closer to God. Now, tell me what you think of this bonus: these tips are true for any one of any age with whom you are sharing your love.