It’s confession time! In high school, I would have been labeled the “model student.” I made good grades, played basketball, and was well-known and respected among my peers. I went to church and strived to live a godly life.
But every Monday I had to hear those in my extended peer group discuss the great Friday or Saturday night they had partying. They talked about how fun it was, what a great time they had. And I wanted to know what that was like. I wanted to have fun, too! I fantasized often about drinking and partying.
The Root of FOMO
I felt alone in this struggle. I felt alone because I did not feel like I could tell anyone I was constantly tempted by alcohol. I felt alone because I wondered what my parents and church friends would think if they knew.
So I continued to struggle. Alone.
Feeling alone is a dangerous thing. Satan uses loneliness as a tactic to rob us of our joy, leading us to focus on all that God is keeping us from instead of all He has already given us. Have you also noticed how loneliness makes it easier to give in to temptation? This strategy is nothing new.
- Eve was alone when she was tempted by the Serpent to disregard God’s instructions (Gen. 3).
- David was alone when he first saw Bathsheba and lustful thoughts entered his mind (2 Sam. 11).
- Jesus had to endure forty days in the wilderness alone being tempted by Satan (Matt. 4).
It seems Satan has much to gain by getting us to feel like we are all alone. Feeling like we’re missing out or like we cannot tell anyone makes us more vulnerable to lies and sin. Because of this, I am here to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
A Dose of Truth
The Bible tells us this: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13). Your struggle is not unique. There are others out there who struggle with the exact same thing you do.
Here’s what other girls, just like you, tell us they’re going through:
- 20% were bullied in the last year.
- 19% contemplate or attempt suicide.
- 20% self-harm.
- 25% have anxiety.
- 11% are treated for depression by age eighteen.
- 18% regularly look at porn.
- 20% regularly smoke weed.
- 15% abuse prescription drugs.
- 21% binge drink.
- 33% are sexually active.
- 20% sext.
- 10% have been abused by a dating partner.
- 50% admit to a “addiction” to their mobile device.
These statistics show what the Bible already tells us: You are not alone. If you took a sampling of ten teenagers, each of them would struggle with at least two of the issues listed above.
The facts prove that you are not alone in your struggle, but what can you do when you still feel alone?
The first step to get help is to admit your struggle. Tell your youth pastor, a mentor, parent, or another trusted adult. There’s tremendous power in dragging things out of the dark corners of our hearts and lives and into the light.
James 5:16 gives us clear instructions to tell:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
After struggling with the temptation of alcohol for over ten years, I finally admitted it to my husband. Much to my surprise, it was not as earth-shattering as I imagined. He simply replied, “We all struggle with different things, and I think it’s admirable you’ve never given in to something you’re truly convicted about.” That was it. No gasps. No outrage. No judgment.
We all struggle with something, and telling others about it can help us in our battle to live a life of purity.
Let’s start that conversation right now.
- Is there a temptation you’re struggling with?
- Have you ever felt alone in your struggle?
- Do you have any uplifting stories about overcoming temptation?
Let us know in a comment below!