Choice and Pressure
Helping young men choose for radical discipleship
by John Hughes
and challenges of growing up in Christian community
As oblivious as we young men may often be, pressure is one thing we sense very keenly. The choice to be a disciple of Christ and to remain in community, particularly for young men, is often reduced to a choice between yielding to pressures from parents and “blazing one’s own trail.”
Growing up in Christian community has it blessings and its challenges. I grew up in a family where prayer, reading the Bible, going to church, and participating in community life were the expected norm. I knew that my parents and those around me wanted the best for me as they challenged me to choose for what God might want for me and for the call he had on my life.
When faced with the decision of where to attend college, I remember how my father waited until I came to him seeking advice before he gave me any direction on the matter – having this room to choose was important for me, and the Lord used it to lead me to a good environment.
When the Lord took hold of my life in my early college years, I knew that the way of life in the community I had grown up with was a good one. However, even if the best possible option was set before me, and I still had to understand that it was within the realm of possibility to choose another option. I knew I had to choose for something, and deep down I yearned to be decisive, but choosing for that which was already set before me somehow didn’t seem like a choice at all.
choosing for discipleship
It would have taken me longer to mature and become autonomous, I think, if I had experienced the decision-making process as a mere weighing of opposing pressures put on me by those around me. Naturally, the call of Christ to “come, follow me” involved a response of faith and obedience, but a life of faith and obedience has to be chosen for, not be pressured into. We want men who, with the Apostle Paul, can say, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a servant to everyone” (1 Corinthians 9:19).
true way to freedom and abundant life
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
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