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By Erik Hatch
Former Youth Director from First Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D. 

Kids are DUMB

 


For nearly fifteen years, I have worked with kids in a faith-based setting. I was a bible camp counselor for two summers. I volunteered 2-5 hours a week all throughout college at my church to help kids. I worked at my home-church for eight years as a youth director. I then worked on a local college campus for 18 months with young people.

And in that time, I learned that kids are totally dumb.

Note – kids are not stupid. Stupid shows a lack of intelligence. Being dumb (at least my definition) is more about being ignorant…naïve…and gullible.

And I LOVE that kids are dumb…and here’s why:

You tell them that they can change the world and they’re dumb enough to believe you. THEN they go and do just that.

When working with young people, I couldn’t help but talk about social justice as a part of the faith journey. Ephesians 2:8 is so great about telling us of God’s grace and that it’s made perfect in our weakness. But Ephesians 2:9-10 tells us that we are saved TO DO GOOD works that God has already set aside for us to do.

You tell an adult that they can change the world and chances are they have a laundry list of excuses (albeit valid) to avoid stepping out of their comfort zones. You tell a kid they can change the world and they want to know how…they want to know where…and they already know WHY.

Somehow, we as adults have forgotten the WHY. Because we were first loved, we are to love. Because He paid the ultimate sacrifice, we are to sacrifice. And yet something happens in the lives of many of us adults that leave us frozen – in both fear and comfort.

Frozen in fear makes sense. We understand the risks involved and there is always a lot to lose. We’ve worked hard to get where we’re at and we’re terrified of losing everything we’ve worked for. Please know that I firmly believe that our fear makes God’s eyes roll, however. When has God ever dropped us? Yes, we’ve been hurt – but we’re still here!

Frozen in comfort is more my sin…maybe it is for you, too. The idea of things changing radically leave me stuck more often than not. We see what we need to do, and yet we don’t do it.

Need to lose weight? Get to the gym and eat right.

Need to work on your faith? Get to church and spend some time in community.

Need a better job or career? Quit where you’re at.

So let me tell you – that YOU can change the world. You can make a profound difference for God’s good. God has the work already set aside for you to do! Often times we ask where God was when things go wrong in our world. I’m afraid, though, that He may ask us where we were…

YES, I know that it’s not that easy. But many times you over-think something; you fight God’s urges in your life. He gave you two hands, two feet, a great brain and a big heart. Stop freezing from fear and comfort. God has given you a life worth living…YOU just need to have the faith of a child.

From Matthew 18: Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

So may you stop over thinking things. May you trust that God has an incredible life waiting for you. May you have the faith of a child. May you have the courage and faith to trust God like a child trusts his/her parents. And may you look at God and this world with wide-eyed wonder.

 

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