By Sam Groeschel
When I was little kid, one of my big fears was scary movies, like Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The Oompa Loompas were freaky, and the problems the children faced in the factory were horrifying to me. Now that I’m a 16-year-old, I’m not afraid of drowning in a chocolate river anymore. I mean, Willie Wonka probably isn’t the scary movie everyone’s watching for Halloween, or one of the things most teens are afraid of. But If I’m honest, I do still struggle with fears. In fact, I chose to focus on the word “fearless” this year because I never want fear to hold me back from being who God has called me to be.
So, what are most teens afraid of? What really keeps us awake at night? It’s not stuff like clowns, bees, snakes, or little orange men with green hair. I think there are two deep fears every teen has to face in order to become who God wants them to be.
2 Big Things Most Teens Are Afraid Of
This is definitely one of the most common fears teens have. FOMO means fear of missing out. Everyone wants to be invited to the big parties and make it to all the basketball games. It’s hard because, even if we drive, we can’t be everywhere at once. This is a big fear because we have so many options, and we’re afraid of choosing the wrong one. What if the other option is more fun or a better choice? The truth is, wherever we are in life is exactly where God can work, and He has a perfect plan in it.
- Fear of Not Measuring Up
Many teens feel a huge amount of pressure to live up to their family’s expectations. A lot of teens also just want to be accepted or fit in with friends. This fear can honestly be overwhelming sometimes.
We have to remember no one’s perfect. We all fall short. In fact, we’ll never be perfect, but we do serve a perfect God who accepts us, loves us, and forgives us of all our sins.
I’ve come to understand fear isn’t always a bad thing. Why? Because when I’m scared I’m missing out or not good enough, it makes me have to trust in God more! You see, the very thing I fear—what I thought was my biggest weakness—can actually be my biggest strength. When you give your situation over to your perfect, unfailing Savior, God can turn your big fear into greater faith in Him.
Parents and leaders, I’m talking to you right now. Teens are afraid they won’t live up to your pressure and expectations. Help them know that God has an amazing plan for their lives, and He won’t let them miss out on it!
Back to teens. I know the pressure is huge, and we just want people to think we’re important. But I love what my dad says. “God doesn’t call us to be important—God calls us to be faithful. And when we are faithful, we do important things.”
I end on this: Don’t allow any fear to stop you from living for God. One big thing I’ve learned is that being fearless doesn’t mean being comfortable; it means embracing being uncomfortable. Grab hold with everything you have of what God is calling you to do. Grab it by the tail! And remember, love is the antidote to fear, and our God is love.