A new school year offers more than an opportunity to stock up on shiny new school supplies—it's a chance to create a brand-new you.

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Do-over!

Erin Davis 08/23/10 | Twitter: @ErinGraffiti
Category: Myself ; 28 comments

students by busMany of you will head back to school this week. Waking up early to sit in class may feel like a bummer, but the start of a new school year certainly has some perks. A new school year offers more than an opportunity to stock up on shiny new school supplies—it's a chance to create a brand-new you.

Your school building and friends may have remained unchanged this summer, but you don't have to. The start of a new school year is a rare opportunity for you to evaluate how you are living and declare a do-over if there are areas you need to adjust.

Here are questions I'd like you to ask yourself concerning who you will be this school year:

1. Am I choosing friendships that help me deepen my walk with Christ?

Proverbs 13:20 promises, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."

First Corinthians 15:33 says, "Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'"

Who you choose to spend time with matters a lot. One thing I love about a new school year is that you can literally reinvent your circle of friends. Take a hard look at the impact your friendships had on your faith last year. Did your friends challenge you to live like Jesus or push you to compromise? If your friendships were a source of temptation or struggle, seek out wiser friends. Consider getting involved in a Christian organization such as FCA to find friends who are passionate about loving Jesus this year.

2. Are there patterns of sin that I need to stop?

First Corinthians 15:34 says, "Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame."

A break from routine offers a great opportunity to turn and run from patterns of sin. Consider how you spent your school day last year. Did you gossip? Cheat on homework? Lie to teachers or friends?

Make a commitment to turn and run in the opposite direction of those sins this year. Ask God to expose areas of sin in your life. Reinforce what He shows you by putting Scriptures about specific areas of struggle in your locker or notebooks where you can read them often.

3. Who does God want me to reach out to this school year?

In Matthew 28:19–20 Jesus says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Your school is your mission field. That's true if you attend a huge public high school or are homeschooled at your dining room table. Wherever you are, there are people who need to be ministered to. Who can you specifically minister to this school year? What will you do to reach out to them?

I'd love to hear your answers to these questions. Leave us a comment, and tell us what you will do to glorify Jesus this school year. Think of it as a homework assignment that really counts.

 

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Krlosier
    Re:
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 10:21 am
    Wow! I recently posted a back to school type topic on my blog too! Actually its really similar! So i'll just share the same story on here so i dont have to retype it all :)
    It's going to be my first year in highschool. Although I am in the same school, and not much is different, I want my highschool years to be different than all the other years. Last year, I went into eighth grade wanting to fit in with older people and wanting to be "cool." Honestly, that was sorta how it was in seventh grade too. I tried to keep my focus on serving God in Bible study and tried to be a good example...but I got distracted. I got off track by trying to follow my own desires and make my own fairytales come true. I wanted what I wanted, and nothing was going to stop me from getting it. Rules didn't hold me back, and I ignored my conscience. I just told myself, "I want to be happy, and this makes me happy." I lost my focus so many times, and I wasted a whole year pursuing what I wanted.  A whole year that I could've spent growing in the Lord, being a good example, and being shaped more like Christ. But I didn't. I didn't think it was a waste at the time, but now I know it is.
       Remember how I say, "Only what is done for Christ will last"? That's a fairly popular quote, but I don't remember where I heard it first. But think about it. Everything else is meaningless. We are only in this world for a little bit of time. After that, it is eternity. The only thing that matters in this life, is what we will do for Christ. Ecclesiastes 1:2 says  "'Meaningless! Meaningless!'  says the Teacher. 'Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.'" but then he goes on to say in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." This year, I am going into highschool with all new goals in mind. I don't want to be lost in the drama of high school.  I am going to follow God's will and desires in my life instead of my own. I will focus on glorifying Him more than anything. I will be a good example for the younger kids, which include my siblings. I will love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. Will I be perfect at these? No. Will I fail a lot? Yes. Will I loose my focus at least a few times? Most likely. But if I go into school with some things to reach for, than I will better be able to focus on the important things, and not get lost in my own desires and pursuits.
      I need to be preparing to try to reach my goals. The next weeks before school need to be spent praying and getting wisdom from the Word of God."

    Hey girls...feel free to visit my blog and comment! (the girls in my Bible study don't share too much, so I thought that if you did, maybe they would too!) onlywhatisdone4christwilllast7.webs.com 
    Krlosier
    Re:
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 10:25 am
    PS- i dont go to a public school, but I'm not homeschooled either. I go to a realllllly tiny christian school. Sometimes I thnk, "well, this is a christian school so no one needs ministering and to be witnessed to..." not true. There are some people in my school that are unsaved. There are people in my school who fight anorexia and cutting themselves. There are people who just need encouraging. So I really agree with Erin Wherevr u r is a mission field :)
    Paulina
    New School Year
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    Every year/semester is the same for me, and I think to other people too, I start with so much enthusiasm and good intentions then everything starts going like before and I begin to struggle again with my biggest problem: procrastination. I'm asking God to help me in staying in track, I know I need to work in my character.
    I would like to hear if anyone has any advice for a passage or verse I could read.
    Elena
    ?
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm
    This is a great post and all, but I am homeschooled, so I am not around other people but my family all day long, every week, for every month and every year :) get my point? Anyway, so how can I make this apply to MY life? Thanks for any advice you can share :)
    After God's Own Heart
    Cool!
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 4:44 pm
    I also think it would be cool to start a bible study in your school if you know a lot of Christians, or even if you don't! You could meet new followers of Christ and also be a light to those who don't know him.
    Heather
    Re:
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm
    I personally struggle with making friends who walk with Christ. I just feel that there aren't many to choose from, but, then again, maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. I think I will join our Christian club at my college.

    Even though every new school year I say that I'm going to reinvent myself, I always lose heart halfway through. It's easy to lose sight of myself and my goals as it seems impossible to break a long line of 'everyday' sins like gossiping or telling white lies. These things are so deeply woven into my life! It will take a lot of perserverence, but I will try very hard not to lose my focus in mid-September.
    growingirl
    Re:
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm
    It is kinda cool that Erin should mention this because my mom and I were talking this summer about this same thing. I really want to change and this year I plan to. I just hope and pray I make that goal and at the same time make an impact on my school.
    Miss Anonymous
    School
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm
    Hi Erin thanks for the post. Yeah, I do have some friends who are foolish. And some are just fun, great, have good standards(but not God's standards). And some are even Christian! I love the friends I hang around with. There's this one particular friend who talks about sexual things alot in art class. She's had a corrupt life, and needs help. How do I help her? She doesn't listen that much to authority, let alone me.
    Today was my first day of school :)
    Jackie
    Stuck...
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm
    I go to an extreamly small highschool, because I live in a very small town. Most of my christian friends are homeschooled. I only get to see ONE friend who I know is strong in her christian fellowship. But I have no classes with her. We have (or had, I don't know if they are going to do it this year) a bible study time during lunch every friday, but it turned into a joke. I quit going because for some reason we stoped reading the bible, people quit coming, and it just turned into a place where four or five kids hung out in the teacher's room just to eat lunch and socialize. After our youth pastor was fired and left because of something stupid he did, it's like our town's calvary chapel youth fell apart and nobody takes their faith seriously anymore. My dad (parents are divorced) moved us to a different Calvary chapel two hours away. (to get to any nearby town you have to drive at least 2 hours from here.) So it's not like I can go hang out with someone from there when I feel like it. And now my mom is trying to get me involved with all of the Mormon Church's youth activities. My mental reaction was "You WHAT?!?!" But I get accused of being a judgemental hippocrite every time I try to say no. So I feel so stuck.....Let me verafy something though, I don't hang out with people who do drugs or anything like that. Two of my best friends are Mormon, one is serious about her..."Faith?" and is one of the nicest people I know, but the other one does not really take it seriously and I think she goes with it because its "the family religion" Another is indesisive. She is not part of any religion, but seems open to Christianinty. The thing is, They KNOW where I stand and what I'm for. They KNOW I'm a christian and I think they try to honor it best they can. When we are in a group co-comunicating with other friends, they know to avoid bad conversations, and swearing when I'm around. If one of them accidentaly lets a cuss word slip, they quickly apologise. (thank the Lord, most of the time I tend to space out and my mind will focus on something else and I miss hearing it anyway. It's like I naturaly tune out when someone swears. All I hear is "Oops! Sorry Jackie." And I'm like "Wha? What happened?" ) I'm probably wrong for all this, but we cant afford homeschooling. Do I just ditch everyone and be on my own?
    gabby ruiz
    the mission field
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm
    this really hit me hard! it is mon. i lterally came back yesterday from my 1st missions trip. it has impacted me so much i relized how amazing my little crowded apt. is! the mission trip really changed my life nd the last paragraph in this blog says "ur skool is ur mission field" I stoped reading when i read that. i read that over nd over nd over again 10 times. i nvr looked at it that way. just having that mentality in my head that the kids r who i am minestering 2 nd that i am a missionary EVERYDAY shocked me. i was a horrible missionary in my skool last yr. i wont make the same mistake again
    Charlie
    Question
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm
    Okay, so I love this, but I have a question.
    Where you say to chose the right friends, how do you tell someone you don't want to be friends with them? I attend a Christian school and I have a "friend". Well, she slaps me whenever I talk about God or she makes fun of me. She even made up a song called "Amish Girl". And I'm not even close to Amish. She also makes fun of me all the time and pushes and shoves me. So, is it okay to tell her I don't want to be her friend, and how do I do so without hurting her feelings, because she's super sensitive?
    Erin Davis
    Elena
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 9:21 pm
    Does anyone in your family need ministered to? Surely there are ways you can demonstrate Christ to your family on a regular basis.

    Erin
    bryonna
    elena
    on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 11:33 pm
    howdy im homeschooled too i went to a whole buncha types of school and honestly this is the worst to me, i guess im a people person. ne ways i come from a family of 8 and 95% of the people are under the age of 9. so thur really no1 i can witness to... n at church they r all christians n saved too. so idk wat to do. i tlkd to my parents bout goin sumwhere else but the private school i went too is horrible n harding academy is to expensive, n public school aint a option. wat am i pose to do?
    Kenzi
    New Me
    on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    I think you're totally right! I want to be a new me! I want to do over my life and start really living for Jesus! I'm going through hard family stuff right now. My parents may get divorced, but I'm not going to let that get me down!! I'm going to live for Jesus! He has plans for me! I'm not going to live like I used to. Life is not about me, it's about the Savior of the universe. I'm going to live for Him. I'm going to redo my life!!
    Doria
    Wow.. helpful
    on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm
    this is a great blog, It will really help in starting school. It's hard where I am, and choosing good christian friends really help through the struggles!
    Erin Davis
    Kenzi
    on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 9:23 am
    Ouch! My parents divorced when I was thirteen. It REALLY hurts! I am proud of you for turning to Jesus despite the turmoil you are experiencing.

    Erin
    Tiffany
    Re:
    on Friday, August 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm
    YOU r so right this year i am declaring a new me last year i was the one who everyone talkd bout cursing and showing off my body to get attention from guys but this year its time for a change. i started skool on monday it was great not having to try nd b something im not my goal is to b on fire for Jesus Christ nd thats wat i am doing true change is coming over my life nd im so thankful God opend my eyes and told me it was time for change.
    JSM
    Re:
    on Friday, August 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm
    Last school year I had practically no relationship with Jesus, but over the summer that changed so much. This school year I was completely ready to step out of my "comfort zone" and start shining out and showing people I lived for God, and only God. I never expected it to be so challenging. I go to a very large public school in my area, and I had never noticed all the awful things that go on...I mean I knew, but they were just side thoughts, nothing significant, no reason to want to change what was going on, no reason to want to help those people. School is draining, but also so uplifting. Though there are bad things going on, it's so amazing to see how many Godly teenagers there are. I was extremely lucky to have always had friends who were good enfluences on me. I know some people are that lucky, and I can't even begin to explain how important it is to find friends who want to help you grow in your relationship with Christ. Though most of that relationship needs to be between you and Christ alone, having people who will stick with you and incourage you to go in the right directions is soooooooo important. I hope everyone grows even more this year, I know I hope I do :)
    Megan
    Elena
    on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 3:23 pm
    Hey Girl! I just wanted to point our that doing school with your family doesn't necessarily limit the people that you can reach out to. Try getting involved with church projects or the local youth club- try and meet people to reach out to. Do you have any local charities? Things you can get involved in? If there isn't anything, then why not set something up? :)
    Rebhekka
    ...
    on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 10:57 am
    Thank you for posting this. I find it ironic because I just got in a big fight with some of my "friends" and it is a fight I really don't think we can heal from. I took the relationship pledge and my friend kept trying to get me to date guys at our school that aren't good guys and she said I don't know what I want and I need to experiment to see what I like. Then a group of my friends got together and thought I was lesbian because I didn't talk about guys and I refused to date guys at our school. I am the kind of person that speaks my mind and so I simply told my friend that if she IF she was my friend she would respect what I want and she didn't say anything. I'm sure I could have said it nicer but if there is a friend you have that is influencing you negatively more than you are positively influencing, you need to forget about them. As hard as that is to do it will cause more harm to you than you would know and that is the decision I have made.


    To Charlie,

    I never would have thought that could happen at a Christian school but I guess that shows how much I judge. What I would do is, if you have other friends start hanging out with them more. If your friend asks why you aren't around her then simply tell her that she isn't being nice to you and you don't want to be a close friend with her anymore. Or you could confront her and say that you don't appriciate the way you are treated by her. True friends accept you for who you are and don't make fun of you for it. I'm not sure if that makes any since but that's my opinion. God bless!!
    Jade
    ........
    on Monday, August 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm
    I used to struggle with this A LOT, when I was in public school. While most of my friends weren't Christians, they we're into bad stuff either (cutting, drinking, swearing, etc.). But, although everyone knew I was a Christian, I never really talked about it. Now that we moved about a year and half ago, and I'm being homeschooled, I've matured a lot. Unfortanutely, I'm not around those friends anymore - I mainly see the kids in our church. Do you have any ideas on how to reach my old friends? (I do keep with several of them with Facebook and e-mail.)

    Kenzi, sorry about your parents. I'll be praying for them, and that you'll be able to keep ministering the gospel to the people around you!
    Elena
    Thanks
    on Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 6:47 pm
    Hey everyone, thanks for all of your advice on how I can minister to people. The people in my family are all saved and good Christians. I will have to take Megan's advice and find a youth group and other project to get into. Thanks!!!
    Becka
    Do-over!
    on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm
    I'm always thinking that I can make my life different on my own, really. I've always been really this really insecure teen and I don't go to school or anything because I'm homeschooled, but whenever I'm going to be around other people I tell myself I'm going to act differently. I tell myself that I'm going to be a talkative, outgoing girl. Then I look at the other girls, that are able to talk to people and make them laugh so easily and I realize THAT"S not me. I'm different, as much as I may want to be like them. However the fact I'm insecure in myself is still something that I feel is an attack from the enemy. I'm afraid of what others think of me. I fear man more than I should, and I fear God less... And I still do try to change myself. It takes alot for me to realize that it's not by my own will that I can change, but it's only through Jesus' changing power through my life. I finally begun to get that, and I've started stepping out more, praying in public like I used to never do. God doesn't whant me to Do-over through my own spirit, but I have to do His do-over, letting his spirit change me into what God is planning for me to be. It may take time and practice, but it will happen if I believe he can do it.
    Hanna W:)
    ?????????
    on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm
    I go to a public school so it's kind of hard to show my Catholic faith when you're not really allowed to say anything about God, etc. in school. That's kind of hard. My friends to go church and everything but kind of laugh at the whole God image. They don't really accept Christ as Savior. Well, they do, but they don't act upon that.
    Becka
    Hanna
    on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 6:26 pm
    You're totally right, Hanna! From what I've seen and heard it is frightening to share your faith in the public school environment. You're constantly bombarded with mean comments if you say anything about Christ, or what you believe is right or wrong. Standing up for things like purity is just seen as weird and "old fashoned", and the people around you who call themselves believers do indeed walk another path entirely. They don't look to the Bible for support, they need the things of the world to satisfy them. It's so sad the road many girls and guys that claim to be believers are really walking on. That road may seem ok and fun at first, but pretty soon its gonna land them straight into a very dark place. THAT"S why YOU are SO important! You can be these people's rescuer!... and guess what, you don't have to do it alone! Jesus is there to guide your lips, you hands and your feet... You're friends NEED you to walk a different path then they might, they NEED you to show them who Jesus really is, because there are so few in this world that are fighting against the flow of public school society, that are trying to stop the mass of teens that are heading straight for hell. We need to turn this flow around, but first, we need to have our own strong, supportive realtionship with the one who can change us through his blood. We need the people in school to see that we believers aren't just like every other teen, we need show them who we're really made of!! It might be a painful path for those that walk in Christ, we might even lose a few close friends in the process, but how much more has Christ given up for us? Maybe your example to that friend could change their life and head them in a new direction. Maybe it will open their eyes to who we believers really are. That believers are people who walk out their faith in love, not hate. I wanna take that stand myself, to be able to stop myself from always looking to the world for what I need, I need to see where it really starts. The Bible is the only place I can really find that satisfaction. I'm tired of going with the flow! Its time to take a stand!
    Victoria Gnade
    Re: Do-over
    on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 10:13 am
    When i was 12 i had started to believe that i was fat and then got the eating disorder called bulimia. And then it like took my like away i was 5'1 and i weighed 89 pounds. My doctor found out about that because i was getting very skinny and she didn't know why. She new how much my mom feeds us and then she thought that i had an eating disorder and that i needed help and she said that she would get me help. I have been reading your book lies young women believe and it has me stirred up in side and out i am finding out some things that are really that hard that i have been prone to do. I have been treated from the eating disorder and now i am now a healthy 5'2 and 115 pounds.
    Victoria Gnade
    Re: hanna
    on Monday, December 13, 2010 at 10:18 am
    I can totally relate to that... I am a first year believer and i am trying to show that in school but they are not happy with it and everything. I think that we should be able to because we say in the pledge under god so i don't now why we can't say anything about that. I think that it is stupid.
    anonymous
    Re:
    on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    The only problem with change is that we say we're going to and then we don't. Why is it that the only changes that we make are after big things happen and they work best if you don't say you're going to change-you just do it? With the New Year coming up and everything, people talk about change, but it's the people who don't talk about it that make the most progress. it's kind of weird, because you would think that if you tell someone that you're going to change, they'd help you or nag you enough about it to enable that change. but i've been finding that it's not about what we say. it must be something in our actions. I wonder what that something is.

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