Why does everyone expect so much from me? I’m only a teenager.
The pressure’s on. Your teachers expect straight A’s, your youth pastor expects you to live a clean and honest life, your parents expect you to act honorably and your coach expects you to play your best. Everyone has such high expectations from you, it seems impossible to keep up.
Somedays you wish you could just give up and give in to the allure of the world, but you know that you’re better than that. Why is that everyone holds you to such high standards? It’s because you’re a Christian. As a follower of Christ, you are held to higher standards than others in the world. You have a different set of guidelines in which to live, let alone the fact that the Spirit of the Lord lives in you, guiding you through life’s trials and tribulations.
It may not seem fair to have these expectations placed upon you, especially when you’re only a teenager and still trying to figure out who you are. But, compared to other teenagers who don’t rely on God, you have a major advantage and know a lot more about life than they do. So, you should be able to carry on with these expectations better than them.
However, don’t feel like you need to handle the responsibilities placed on adults. They do have more life experience than you and they have had time to develop a deeper relationship with God (not to mention Adult’s brains are more developed and therefore equipped to handle greater responsibilities). Instead of comparing yourself to adults, thinking you have to live up to their standards, look up to them. Find characteristics that are honorable in which you may want to emulate.
The high standards that you face aren’t set because you’re expected to “look and act” a certain way as a Christian in today’s society. Rather, these expectations exist because you have a duty to uphold for the Lord. He loves you enough to guide you on how to live, because He knows how you’ll be most satisfied and effective for Him. God has called all His followers to a greater purpose and Satan will do anything he can to destroy that purpose. So, your life as a Christian will be intertwined with trials and joyful moments alike. As hardships come, you’ll need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), so you can be aware of the devil’s schemes and prepare yourself for what he throws at you. Yes, you will face attacks, but all these burdens make you stronger and more prepared for the devil’s next assault. You need to remember that the battle is not yours to fight, but it’s the Lord’s. Jesus will empower you with the Holy Sprit and strengthen you as you pray and rely on Him.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
It’s hard to resist the ways of the world, but the weight of the world is not on you. Quite the contrary. The weight of the Spirit is upon you. God has great things planned for you and will guide you to them. The journey may seem strenuous and the road ahead difficult, but with God’s help and His power in you, you can attain the high standards set by Him. Though God sets high standards for us, He does not expect us to conquer them on our own. He will sometimes raise the bar Himself, testing our ability to rely on Him. But, we can deal with anything that comes our way with the love and support of God.
Whatever task lays before you, do it with honor for the Lord. Pursue His will for you. His expectation is never focused on perfection, but rather reliance on Him. He will help you through any hardship with great determination and perseverance. In those times, you will develop great character, a reason worthy of high expectations.