“3 Teenage Qualities Worth Learning From” by Justin Dowiot

“3 Teenage Qualities Worth Learning From” by Justin Dowiot

teensI’m currently sitting in a bunk in Hamtramck, MI as I write this.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to take a group of 17 students and adults on a short term missions trip to minister to the Muslim community here.  I mention that I’m fortunate because regardless of how much time I spend with teenagers, I am always amazed at how much there is that we as adults can learn from them.  We have a team here that has admirable attitudes and work ethic, but they have so many more characteristics that are worth gleaning from.

Here are three teenage qualities that I think every adult should be reminded of:

  1. Go with the flow – Our plans have changed several times during this trip, but students are generally okay with modifying their day to whatever comes next. When you don’t freak out when things don’t go as planned, your stress level tends to go down. Even take a look at Jesus in Matthew 8:23-27… The disciples got thrown off their game by the storm that popped up, but Jesus woke up, stayed calm, and faced the storm in front of him. He could have very easily panicked too, been upset that they hit this unexpected storm, and been as stressed as everyone else. But he didn’t, he adjusted his plans (in this case, waking up) and took care of what he needed to.
  2. Be passionate – I have been amazed at the passion that these students have. They are invested in what they are doing. I know it’s not as simple as saying, “I’m going to be passionate”, but remind yourself of the energy and   drive that used to overflow out of you when you were younger. A good way to restore your passion is by asking yourself these two questions:
  • What do you love about Jesus?
  • What breaks your heart?


If you can see how Jesus has changed your life, the freedom he has given you and the hope that exists in him… Then there is going to be a group/idea/problem that breaks your heart – that is where your passion is found. Combine your love for Jesus and your compassion and let it drive you.

3. Be a risk taker – I’m not talking about cliff jumping or anything like that. I’m simply looking at the fact that these students made a decision without knowing the outcome. They took the step to go on a trip, to give up a week of their summer break, knowing very little of what to expect. Sometimes, we get so caught up in having to know how things are going to end up that we miss out on life, but also (and more importantly) we miss out on what God has for our life. These students are having an unforgettable summer – but it never could have happened if they didn’t give up a little control. How much more exciting and enjoyable could your life be if you were willing to live life not afraid of being wrong? What if you just “went for it” and dealt with the outcome when it was actually time to face the outcome?

My hope is that we all can be reminded of some of the positive qualities that we had in our youth. Just because we’ve grown up, doesn’t mean we should grow out of some of those characteristics. What quality about you is missing in your life from your youth? It’s time to grab those qualities from our teenage years and put them into practice as adults!