One Question Guaranteed To Help Your Teen (& You) Start Well

School’s back and so is our ministry blog! After a great summer filled with mission trips, summer camp, vacation bible school, and most recently, our Surfs Up Launch Event, I’m excited to get back into a weekly rhythm of life and ministry. I often hear people say how this year will be different. This year I’ll be a better ________ (fill in the blank). But like New Year’s resolutions, it’s common to find students struggling to stay motivated just one week into the school year.

As you try new habits this fall or attempt to resume good habits that you let lapse over the summer, let me offer one question that is guaranteed to help you and your teen start well. This principle comes from Greg Mckeown, author of Essentialism (chapter 19 to be specific), and is one I hope to continue implementing into my daily routine. Help your teens WIN each day of the week, by asking the following question:

What’s Important Now? (The WIN Principle)

Asking this simple, but pointed question can help shape your attitude toward every task and relationship. Consider what God tells us in Matthew 6:31-34:

Matthew 6:31-34
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Have you ever replayed a past mistake in your mind over and over? Have you ever spent money you didn’t have, or eat what you shouldn’t have, or say something you didn’t mean to a loved one. Our past mistakes can leave us feeling shameful and guilty. Have you ever worried about your next job? Have you ever stressed about your upcoming stage of life? Future worries can leave us feeling paralyzed with fear.

We often spend much of our time replaying the past, or forecasting the future, but the reality is that the only thing we truly have control over is our present choices. Deciding to ask and to act on the question- what’s important now – can help reshape your priorities and and serve as a catalyst for change. Consider how this question can affect the following situations:

  • Faith – You might not have read your Bible in the past month, but what’s important now is to read God’s word today.
  • Family – You might have had a stressful day at work, but what’s important now is to be with your kids at dinner time, play time, and bed time.
  • Friends – You might have gotten into a fight with someone close to you, but what’s important now is forgiveness and reconciliation.
  • Finances – You might be overwhelmed behind a mountain of debt, but what’s important now is to work and save today.
  • Future – You might not know what your future holds, but what’s important now is completing the school work that is right in front of you.
  • Fitness – You might not hit your goal weight this week, but what’s important now is deciding to work out and determine to eat well today.

What do you think? How often do you ask this question each day? How can you WIN at work? How can you WIN at school? How can you WIN in your family life? I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, feedback, and questions.

Make it a great week, and God bless!

Jon Kragel
High School Pastor
North Ridge Community Church

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