Off the Path – Today’s Youth Devotion

Off the Path

Bible Reading: Romans 8:28-30

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. Romans 8:29

When Steve walked in the room, the air reeked of success. The high schooler was everything anyone wanted to be all bundled into one: He was athletic-captain of the school’s championship football team. He was hunky—the easy winner for homecoming king. He was musical—first-chair trumpet in the state youth orchestra. And he was brilliant—the guy with the highest grade point average in school.

Snideley wasn’t any of those things. He wasn’t athletic-in fact, he once fell out of his shoes while talking in speech class. He wasn’t good-looking—just ask any girl. He wasn’t musical—not after being booted from band for dropping the tuba. And he wasn’t smart—his grades slid as low as they could go without flunking. But instead of being himself, Snideley kept trying to do all the things Steve did.

Wanting to be somebody different might be a fun dream for a few minutes, but it’s no way to live every day. God made you unique. You’re different from every other person on this planet, and he wants you to stay different.
• You’re great just the way God made you.
• You don’t have to be anybody else.
• You don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else.

Face it: You compare yourself to others because you want to know how you measure up. If you’re doing well, you soar. If you aren’t as gorgeous, brainy, rich, or athletic as the other person, you crash. The trouble with comparing is that you’re using the wrong measure—other people. Every person is different, so you’re always guaranteed to find someone you think is better or worse than you are, filling you with either frustration or pride.

There is, however, someone you should strive to be like. It’s someone even God wants you to copy. And that’s his Son.

God doesn’t want you to remake yourself in the mold of anyone but Jesus. He doesn’t want you to try to look or dress like Jesus, but he wants you to develop Jesus’ character.

Instead of asking, “Am I as good as so-and-so?” quiz yourself on this: “Do I have the character of Jesus, God’s Son?” When you can say yes to that question, you’ll know you’re just like him.

TALK: Whom do you want to be like? Why?

PRAY: Father, thanks that you don’t expect us to remake ourselves in the mold of anyone but your Son.

ACT: With the Holy Spirit’s help, identify one characteristic of Jesus you would you like to put into practice. Then try to do it today!