By Andrew Unthank for KidSpirit's The Adventurous Spirit issue.
The Bible and its message have been in my life as long as I can remember.
I have had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home. Being a true follower of Christ is not just a part of who I am but rather defines who I am. It is prominent and hopefully evident in my behavior, my convictions, and my decisions. I believe the Bible completely, and because of this, the Bible and its teachings play a role in every aspect of my life. In every situation I strive to fulfill my obligation as a born-again follower of Jesus Christ, which is to be a light and spread the message of love to everyone I encounter in all situations. The Bible and the wisdom it provides guide me when an opportunity for adventure arises, when I decide whether or not to try new things and explore the unknowns of life.
When most people are blessed enough to have the opportunity to experience a new adventure, many tend to freeze or panic. Unfamiliar scenarios often cause people not to seize the opportunity that is presented to them. However, the Bible teaches that we as Christians have nothing to fear. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” God always keeps his promises. One of His promises is that if we follow Him He will never leave us. This assurance is especially useful and comforting when I am forced to explore the unknown or do something that makes me uncomfortable. As a Christian, I know if I am doing God’s will, He will help me to accomplish my task, succeed at a new challenge, or have a successful adventure. For example, I would never consider myself a writer. Yet, when asked if I would be interested in writing an article, after consideration I saw this as an opportunity to express my love for God, to bear witness to the importance and impact of God, and show how He affects my life.
Whenever something new comes up, the first thing I do is pray to Jesus and ask for his will to be done in the situation. I pray he will guide me to do his will in everything I do. Sometimes I don’t feel led in a particular direction. Most of the time the answer does not come to me as quickly as I would like it to. In those situations, I go to my favorite reference book. Since the Bible is so important to me, I ask myself, “What does the Bible say about things like this?” The Bible is an instruction manual about how to live like Jesus and follow his will.
Every day people are faced with choices. Some choices are life-changing decisions, some are minor. Yet all choices show our character and standards. While some decisions seem insignificant, they all boil down to two options: live like Jesus or unlike Jesus. The better choice is to live like Jesus; even if you are not a Christian, living like Jesus will benefit you and the world you live in. When I begin to explore the unknown, I look at what I am going to be doing and I decide if it goes against the Bible. If it does, I leave it and don't look back, because I believe that is the right thing for a Christian to do. If it does not go against the Bible, I will then continue to explore, while keeping an eye out for things that would compromise my values and my faith. Before accepting the opportunity to go to a leadership camp for the first time, I considered that I would be interacting with a diverse group of people and determined that it would benefit me and help me grow as a leader and a courageous Christian.
I know that even what the world perceives as minor choices can affect my testimony and my ability to represent Jesus in my community. I know that small compromises on my beliefs can lead to big consequences. For example, if I profess to be a Christian, my behavior should reflect that at all times. Do I lose patience while waiting for my lunch order? Do I fire back at someone who insults me? Do I worry about the future? Do I go along with what the majority says is okay in order to try to fit in? While I am in no way perfect, I do consider how my behavior, choices, and words look and sound to others.
My faith, which is based on my relationship with Jesus through the Bible and prayer, guides me in everything I say and do. It determines all aspects of my life — what I watch, what I do, what I say. My faith gives me strength for today and hope for the future. It gives me joy in all situations and, above all else, unconditional love. My Christian faith gives me courage to try new things, seize new opportunities, and step out of my comfort zone, because I know that Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I now look for opportunities to try new things that will help me grow and mature, not only as an individual but also in my faith. I have found that with each experience, whether positive or negative in outcome, I learn valuable lessons that help prepare me to be an effective and responsible member of society, as well as a courageous Christian.
When he wrote this piece, Andrew Unthank was a junior at Robertson County School (RCS) in Kentucky. He is an active member of his local church, Piqua United Methodist Church, and a student at Robertson County School. At RCS, he is very active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), where he is a Sentinel officer. He recently won the Kentucky State FFA competition in Impromptu Speaking in his category, Agricultural Mechanics. Upon graduation from RCS in 2020, Andrew wants to attend college and possibly pursue a degree in either history/psychology or agriculture.