Blog/CYM Blog

Wait! A Teen Lied to Me?

I will never forget the first moment a teen lied straight to my face. I was so upset I wanted to beat them over the head with the book of Leviticus! As youth ministers, we have a unique role in the lives of the teens we serve. For some, we are role models and others we are the Jesus Freak, who secretly inspires. We can be big siblings and sometimes a parent figure. So, what happens when they lie to you?

If a teen lies to you, do you react as a parent, a big sibling or a Jesus Freak? The answer is no! Our forgiveness in the situation, as hard as it may be, needs to reflect the love we have received through the grace of Jesus Christ. It’s more powerful to reflect the forgiveness we have received in the sacrament of reconciliation and share the joy in the victory over our sins. Forgiveness leaves an impact that is impossible to forget. So to answer the question, we react like a youth minister who leads teens closer to Christ.

Teens have a unique ability to see people’s authenticity, and they know when you are authentic. Regardless of the steps leading up to confronting the situation, the severity of the lie, or the instant reaction, our approach has to be processed, accepted and dealt with on our accord. The reason we have to deal with the issue and process our emotions are so our hearts are prepared to encounter a teen that desperately needs forgiveness and love.

It is important to ask the Lord to give you the grace you need to handle the situation in front of you. My prayer daily is very simple, “Lord, help me to be present to the person in front of me and help me love them as you love me.” Our job is ultimately very simple, lead teens closer to Christ. The teens we encounter will not become what they do not see. Show the teens a transparent, authentic and Christ-centered heart and He will overflow a grace like never before.

 

Image via FlickrCC 2.0, Logo added 

About the Author

Jake Etcheverria

Jake Etcheverria is the Director of Youth Ministry at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ. Seven years of full time ministry brought him to south Louisiana for three years where a Cajun culture forever changed the kid from the desert. Now back in Arizona, Jake enjoys all things outdoors and at any moment can tell you how many days there are left until hunting season starts. He is an avid cook with a Cajun flair to just about everything. You can often find Jake up in the mountains camping with his wife Eden and their two golden retrievers Buck and Jolie. Yes, he did name his dog Buck, that happened!