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Katie Fang asks: “how does one balance a relationship with God with schoolwork? I know we should always put God first, but sometimes it seems as if we get way too busy with our school work to get to know Him better.”
I totally understand your dilemma; I have the same problem. Sometimes it can feel like school gets in the way of your relationship with Him. However, once you refuel yourself with the Word you will realize that school is secondary.
The first thing I would recommend is finding a Bible study that you feel inspired to do. Do you like the book by book study? Or maybe a topical study? Once you find something that works for you, find a time that also works. Do you focus better in the morning or at night? I notice that I feel better throughout the day if I study in the morning and refresh myself at night. It also helps to study while you eat breakfast or during your morning coffee (if you drink coffee).
If you find that you cannot remember to do your study or you do not feel motivated, find an accountability partner. Do you have a siblings or parent that could do their Bible study with you? Sometimes my mom and I eat breakfast together and do our Bible studies and that helps me to remember. Maybe you can work through a Bible study with someone else if doing one by yourself does not work. When I was younger my mom and I did a mother-daughter study together. Is there a Bible study you can do with a sibling, friend, parent, or as a whole family? It helps to grow with someone and share your troubles and questions so that they can help you with your walk with Christ.
One other recommendation is a youth group. Does your church have a youth program? It can help to find like-minded teens your age to support and encourage you. I hope this inspires you or help you come up with a new way of finding time.
Miss Smiley asks: “how do outgoing Christian girls find the balance between being friendly to everyone, even guys, and yet not flirting or coming across as a flirt? I work as the cashier at a fast food restaurant and I am a very outgoing girl. So I love to smile and make people’s day. But, some of my coworkers have mentioned to me that I am coming across somewhat flirtatious. I was horrified! I do not want to and neither do I intend to flirt at all. So, how do I shine Christ’s light and be friendly without crossing the flirting line?”
What a hard question to tackle! I had to ask my editor (thanks, Morgan) who had to ask her friend in customer service and mom for someone advice on this subject. In a customer service job you have the opportunity to make someone’s day, which you are doing with a smile. If you are not close with your coworkers, you should not necessarily take their words as truth. If you want someone to inform you if you come across “flirty” I would recommend asking someone close to you. Choose a person who has your best interest in mind and ask them to watch you while you interact with customers.
In Luke 6:31 it reads: “. . . as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” (ESV). Take this verse with you when you head to work. Simply treating some with kind words, genuine attention toward them, and a smiling face (the way you hope to be treated) can make their day.
As far as the “flirting line” goes, it shows more through the way you tilt your head, your posture, and how you might speak to someone. In the end, make sure to keep your interaction with the customer professional; you are there to serve them not be their best friend. I will end with what Morgan, my editor, said: “Treat each person as valuable and loved by God, both customer, and coworker, male and female.”