WHY DO I FEEL
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Living in a world where many of the messages we receive are filled with sexual imagery, we are often challenged to respond with the powerful imagery of our Christian tradition.
Each of us is loved by God, and God’s Spirit invites us to express who we are and what we believe at the deepest level of our being in the daily experience and relationships of our lives.
But this is not always easy, and withstanding the pressures modern society places on us can be so hard at times.
What the Bible says...
“You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you” (Mark 1:11). Jonah, of First Testament fame, did everything he could to avoid God’s call and ended up inside the belly of a whale. By offering God’s love to others and having people that express God’s love in our lives, we are then able to reach out and make our feelings and needs known to family and friends around us.
What the Church says...
“I invite everyone to renewed hope… Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfil desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit… it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile” (Fratelli Tutti, para 55).
We are wired for social connection and the Church offers events, practices and rituals that represent God’s presence. Social connections such as reaching out to reassure a friend, or sharing a kind word with an adult or parent, builds the reign of God by being the change we want to see in the world. Relationships are a starting point for becoming who we want to be and journeying with Jesus.
In the ups and downs of each day we find ourselves in difficult circumstances that make us question who we are and who befriends us. This sometimes leads to feelings of doubt and can affect our mental health. The sexual images and themes in society appear to reduce sex and sexuality to the plot of a TV drama or an advertising jingle, but young people are strong justice advocates who know that sex, sexuality and gender are about identity and love. The way that we respond in our relationships with others presents opportunities to grow and to be the person God loves.
In my identity and circumstances, I show God’s diversity and uniqueness with acts of generosity and justice that reject the imagery of a sexualised world.
Learning to be ourselves in our relationships is a life-long journey that goes beyond the satisfaction of immediate sexual needs and human desires.
The Church guides us with examples of holy men and women who have struggled as we do. It provides us with advice and teaching that supports us to meet needs for intimacy and connection beyond the sexual expressions of love that may tempt us to think otherwise.
God’s word, people, places and prayer remind us that we are beautifully made in God’s image and called to express our sex, gender and sexuality in ways that honour God and respect others. This is a direct challenge to the agenda of a sexualised world.
How to cope with pressure
Learn to be OK with feeling emotionally vulnerable – there is nothing wrong with you, so do not measure yourself against society’s expectations and pressure.
Lean on and engage in honest conversations with people you trust.
Sit with a story from Scripture or a beautiful landscape and use these as a focus for prayer.
Visit a place that represents a spiritual connection, linking you to the mission of Jesus.
Seek out opportunities and voices, listening carefully to God’s guidance within them.
Remember that you are God’s beloved…in whom God is well pleased.
“Since you are God’s dear children, you must try to be like him. Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us…” Ephesians 5:1-2
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GET THE Book
Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.
This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.
This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.