The Bible does tell us that being obedient to God shows our love for Him (1 John 2:5). And I’m sure you don’t need my help to find commands in the Bible for you to obey, including loving your neighbor (Mark 12:30-31) and keeping our body and minds pure (Philippians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 6:18). The list goes on, but I don't want to give you a list of do’s and don’ts.
Our love for God is a good motivation for obedience, yes. However, obedience will NOT create a love for God. Trying to follow a set of rules to somehow generate love in your heart will leave you with nothing but bitterness. And yes—I know from experience.
Love is built slowly, crafted out of time and trust. Think of it as growing a flower instead of flicking on a light switch.
Spending time with God, building that relationship, learning about His promises, creating trust through seeing Him prove Himself in the Bible...that is the sunlight to your flower.
Instead of a to-do list, the one thing you can focus on is reading God’s Word and talking to Him through prayer.
The Bible alone has power (Hebrews 4:12-13). Not me. Not this website.
Trust me. I know that’s easy to say and so hard to do. I struggle with the same thing. It’s almost physically painful at some points to open my Bible, much less pray. I have doubts, too. Some days, my prayers get frustrated and angry, but sin, depression, and poor self-worth become very real in my life if I’m not intentional about keeping close to God.
Just as you’ve come to us to ask questions, it’s all right to ask for help among other believers in your life. Those relationships will help build your faith in Christ. Use the resources available to you to get there, such as accountability partners, biblically-sound classes or study groups, and Christian books about building your faith, but nothing can stand in as a substitute for the Bible itself.
Last but not least, I want to address mental health. I personally struggle with chronic anxiety and sometimes would nitpick different aspects of my spiritual or physical life. I’ve found medication and a Christian counselor to be helpful. If you believe some of your unrest may need to be addressed by a professional, please don’t hesitate to ask a trusted adult or doctor for more information. This last year has been tough on everyone, and all of us here at 412teens are big advocates for better mental health.
Don’t give up. Just as there are lows in all our walks with Christ, there will be highs again.
No matter our emotional state, God loves us the same (Romans 5:8).
Sarah Burkey is a graduate of Frontier School of the Bible with a BA in Youth Ministry. Along the way, she discovered her second passion: geriatric health. Sarah is a physical therapist assistant in a local nursing home. In her free time, she struggles to finish writing her novel, enjoys baking and reading, and watches a little too much anime.