When you first hear the title of ABC Family’s new series – “The Secret Life of an American Teenager,” one might say – Duh!
Seriously – don’t most teenagers have somewhat of a secret life? That’s like starting a new show called “The Dysfunctional Lives of Hardened Criminals.”
I’m not saying that it’s cool to have a secret life, but it’s just the way a boatload of 13-18 year olds decide to do things.
So in “The Secret Life” … we have a band girl getting pregnant, a super Christian cheerleader, unhappy marriages, and a multitude of backstabbing betrayals and blistering banter.
In other words, pretty much like real life.
I wouldn’t know how God feels about this show – He probably doesn’t watch TV because He already knows what’s coming anyway … but I do, however, know how God feels about the secret lives of Christian teenagers.
You know what I’m talking about, right? If not, let me lay it out for you:
Whoa! Today is church, right? Yikes, I need to do some serious confessing so I don’t, like, get struck by lighting or have a serious Bible dropped on my head from above. Oh, and I need to remember to activate the cussing filter and tell the youth leader how I’ve been praying and reading the Bible. Yeah, I’ll confess that one too … later.
Monday – Friday:
Yesssss. Back at school where some people know I’m a Christian, but I sure don’t want to come off like some Jesus Freak or something. That’s why I let the profanity fly when the situation demands it, judge others based on how they look, and c’mon – does Jesus really expect me to save sexual pleasure for marriage? Oh – and I’m definitely going to that party Friday night – even though I know my parents think I’m just out with friends. And even though there’s going to be enough booze and drugs to supply a small nation … I’m just going so I can maybe talk to people about God … right?
I guess I had fun … but why do I feel so guilty inside? Everybody is doing this secret life stuff, but nobody seems happy. I thought having a relationship with Christ was supposed to bring me joy and contentment, but all I’m getting is shame and loneliness.
Whoa! Today is church, right? Yikes, I need to do some serious confessing so I don’t, like, get struck by lighting or have a serious Bible dropped on my head from above…
And the pattern continues. And this is the review that God is sending your way –
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:15-17)
Get the point? A secret life is a ‘lukewarm’ life that dishonors God’s name and makes Christianity a joke. But you already knew that, right? The secret life of a Christian teenager is a fast track trip to the worst life possible. Why? Well, people who aren’t Christians live life apart from knowing the way God designed it. So partying and acting selfishly and choosing destructively come naturally for them.
But Christians are the only people on planet earth who have the Holy Spirit of God living inside them. And when we choose to live life contrary to God’s design, we literally make God sick. That’s why when He sees the secret lives of Christian teenagers, He wants to ‘spit you’ out of His mouth!
When you think about it, holding on to sinful patterns from our non-Christian days is madness and insanity. Einstein defined ‘crazy’ as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” – and isn’t that the plot line for “The Secret Life of a Christian Teenager?” Haven’t we figured out by now that breaking God’s commands and rebelling against His will always trashes your life and those around you?
The truly amazing thing is that obeying God and living life His way will bring the very results that you are trying to achieve by partying and hooking up. A life devoted to purity, holiness, and commitment to Jesus has paybacks you can’t possibly imagine.
I know – because I’ve been there. So my encouragement is this:
If you’re living the secret life of a Christian teenager, cancel the show. Live your life out in the open and fully committed to Christ.
I promise you’ll never regret a decision like that!
Head: Christians who live double lives dishonor God’s name and make Christianity a joke. Heart: Feel motivated that through the power of the Holy Spirit, you don’t have to crawl through the manure pile that dominates the lives of many teenagers. Breathe the free and pure air of Christianity, and you’ll never go back to a double life again.
Hands: Take some time this week to evaluate your life in light of the way the Bible teaches us to live. Pray the prayer of David in Psalm 139:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24).
Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.