Living God’s way isn’t always easy and teenagers seem to have it particularly tough. Spend any time around youths and you will hear, time and again, that they feel restricted while trying to live” right”. Doing the right thing often means that they can’t do what their friends do. So when they see all the things their friends are participating in, teenagers assume those activities are more rewarding, exciting and fun.


What teens do not realize is that the lifestyle they crave is like eating a lot of candy. It tastes good and then the taste encourages the desire to eat more, leading to obesity, a host of health problems and cavities.


An elderly Christian man in living in Communist-controlled Budapest remarked when asked about the effects of persecution and discrimination on the lives of Christians: "It is like the deep, fast-flowing Danube River. The banks of the river were artificially narrowed throughout the city of Budapest. As the result, the river's fast waters dug deeper and deeper into the river bottom. Believers under restrictions and persecution have limited freedom and few political options, but their narrowed lives have found great depth by going deeper in Christ."


1 Corinthians 6:12 states: "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."


God is not trying to restrict our freedom, He is seeking to release us from bondage that can lead to sin and death (Romans 6:18). John 8:31-32 states, "...If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Also, Galatians 5:1 states, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."


The real hope for teens is knowing that true freedom is never just doing what you want to do. It is always finding pleasure and having joy and peace in doing what benefits you and everyone else around you. Freedom can be compared to eating a balanced meal with plenty of vegetables and really enjoying it.