The Troubled Mind of a Youth
Among the many counseling mails I receive, the following was received from a 15-year old boy by the name Joe (name changed). Pertinent parts of his mail read as follows:
I am a high school student from a Christian family and am born again. I want to be baptized. But I feel that I am often faced with temptations by the devil. I am unable to control my thoughts and make it clean. Uncle, will you please give me some tips which I can follow to remove these temptations. I have nobody else to share this burden with. Please pray for me, uncle. I am much disturbed about the lack of victory in my Christian life.
Another thing: I try my best to send gospel messages to my friends, but I'm scared that the relationship between me and my friends will end because of this. Please pray for me. I am also praying.
Please give me a reply soon, uncle.
10th June 2016
Hello Dear Joe,
Thank you so much for your kind mail. Thanks for writing about your burdens in your Christian life. I assure you that I shall prayerfully help you with some tips.
I am glad you are thinking about speaking to your friends about Jesus. Negative fear always comes from the devil and your flesh and personality. Such fear is a technique used by the enemy of Gospel to keep you from being bold in speaking about your Savior. But if you trust Jesus and leave the consequences to Him, He will give you the boldness to speak to your friends about Jesus. Jesus will take care of the consequences of being bold. But you should be as loving as possible when you speak or send gospel messages to your friends and classmates. Please take care not to get into any argument while speaking. Whenever there is disagreement, make it "agree to disagree agreeably" and have peace. Keep the relationship going and continue to pray for them. God will work in their hearts and will bring about a change in them one of these days. Remember, you are the 'only Bible' they read and so be very careful the way you live among them, speak and behave. They will watch all of these in you and will evaluate you. Please be careful never to antagonize them so that they will be open to you.
I am glad that you are desirous of getting baptized. This is one of the earliest steps you should take in your Christian life to demonstrate that you love Jesus more than anything or anyone else in this world. When you have this desire, the enemy will try to pull you back. But you should refuse to be pulled back by any force. Prayerfully submit yourself to the Lord and ask Him to take control of your thought life and desires.
Whenever temptations come, do the following:
1. Denounce it in the name of Jesus Christ and ask in prayer that it is removed from your thinking. Keep praying continuously, every day and at every opportunity (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
2. Pray for strength to resist the devil (Matthew 7:7-11).
3. Guard your eyes and ears against seeing or listening to anything that will try to tempt you (Job 31:1; Proverbs 4:23-27; Matthew 6:22; 1 John 2:16).
4. Whenever there is a failure, confess it to the Lord and ask for forgiveness (1 John 2:1-2).
5. Then thank God for the victory you experience each time (2 Corinthians 2:14).
Joe, please remember, victory is never permanent in this life; it comes to us one step at a time. You can get victory over sin and thought life step by step and a day at a time. So live carefully and confess and repent each time you fall. You cannot stop temptation because it comes from the outside. But you can keep away from it and from all its entry points and be careful not to fall into it. Spend much time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study. These are ways to get victory over thought life. Also as much as possible, please don't be alone anywhere, but always be with others, like mom, dad, brother and Christian friends.
Please note the following verses which will help strengthen your fight against sin and thought life. Study and meditate on these verses. The result will be amazing.
1. Romans 6:12-14 (Submit our bodies and our whole being as instruments for God to use for His glory).
2. Romans 13:14 (Make efforts not to make any provision for sin and wrong thoughts).
3. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (We are not ours and we should allow God to do what He pleases only in our lives, thoughts, and bodies).
4. 2 Corinthians 7:1 (Keep yourself cleansed through the reading of the Word, confession, and prayer).
5. 2 Timothy 2:22 (Flee or run away from all circumstances which would prompt us to sin).
6. 1 Peter 2:11 (Keep away from fleshly lust which tries to enter your mind).
7. Philippians 4:8 (Think about sublime, noble and holy things all the time, as much as possible. Fill your heart and thoughts with it).
8. 1 John 1:9; 2:1-2; Proverbs 28:13 (when you have a failure, confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. God will definitely forgive you).
9. Romans 12:1-2 (Submit your body and mind to God during daily prayer. Live daily with this fact that your bodies are already submitted to God and that it is not right to take it back from Him).
10. Psalms 119:11 (Spend much time in the Word of God - read, meditate, memorize and study).
11. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (Look at Jesus by faith and be occupied with Him and things concerning Him).
12. Proverbs 18:10 (Call on the name of the Lord in moments of fierce temptation).
Please follow this pattern of life every day. Also, I recommend the following for you to consider and implement soonest possible:
1. Have a QUIET TIME every day. Select and read a small portion and meditate and study that portion. God will speak to you from that portion to strengthen your spiritual life.
2. Find a PRAYER PARTNER who is closely known to you. Perhaps it could be a friend or some other youth from the assembly or outside the assembly. Meet with him sometime during the week and spend some time in prayer together. This will strengthen your spiritual life.
3. Along with the Bible, please read good CHRISTIAN BOOKS, like True Discipleship (By William MacDonald). I shall send you a set of books if you contact me (E-mail:
I hope all of these will help you in your Christian walk. My recommendation is that you need not wait to decide about baptism. If you have the assurance of salvation, without the shadow of a doubt, please go ahead and get baptized. As you obey the Lord, He will give you the strength day by day to resist the devil and give you victory over your thought life and sins. Thus each day you will have a closer walk with the Lord.
Dear Joe: Please write to me if you have further questions about any of the above or anything new. I will continue to remember you in my prayers that the Lord will protect you from all evil, strengthen you to resist the devil and sins in your thought life and take good care for you. Remember! There is victory waiting for you each day as you live that day in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.