No matter what our specific backgrounds, we all pretty much have at least one thing in common: we were all once young and dumb. As teenagers we began to become aware of the larger world outside of ourselves and to develop our own opinions on the matters involving that world. Then we develop further into young adults, and begin to make decisions that affect our lives in vitally important ways.

Unfortunately for many young people those opinions are developed, and those decisions made, with incomplete or downright bad information. Teachers who indoctrinate students in their own social values rather than actually teach subject matter, culturally biased news and entertainment media, and parents who are either unplugged or not there at all all contribute to this phenomenon.

The one person who has most importantly been removed from many youths lives these days is the single most important person that they actually need to be influenced by: Jesus Christ.

Some young people are so turned off by Christian influence that they cringe at the very name of Christ. It becomes an immediate wall-builder and conversation-killer to even raise His name.

The reason is very easy to understand. You may not have been properly raised in the Truth of Jesus Christ and His teachings, and are not strongly guided through those key developmental years by parents who are believers.

When you are not surrounded by family, friends, and teachers who are also raised with a Christian influence, this often leads to a me-first attitude.

I know best. I can figure it out for myself. I am my own rock. I don’t have to answer to anyone but my own conscience. In the lives of people who do not operate from a Christ-centered base, there is a lot of “I”, “me” and “my” in their thinking and their conversations. This ego-driven approach then dominates their opinions and decisions.

So many people wander through life from one personal tragedy to another, always finding themselves involved in yet another negative drama, some so bad that they find themselves immersed deeply and constantly in states of depression and despair. They always seem to make the wrong decisions when surrounding themselves with other people as well, a sort of magnet for bad influences.

This is all for one simple reason: they refuse to open themselves to the love and hope that can ultimately only be found in Jesus Christ. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” as it was said by Christ Himself. There truly is someone out there who is available to everyone who wishes to embrace Him as brother and friend, and who will never, ever let you down.

Find that you just aren’t getting ahead? That you keep getting hurt by the people around you? That you find a lack of overall purpose in your life? You’re not alone, there are many of you out there.

You can eliminate the negative people, music, and other influences. eliminate these dopes to raise your hope level. To paraphrase from one of my favorite songs, you can call His name every day, and rise above this now.

NOTE: This post is the continuation of the ‘Sunday Sermon’ series, all entries of which can be viewed by clicking on that below label.