Summer. What does summer mean to you? Maybe sleeping in and playing video games all day. Maybe it means working on your muscles and tan to try to impress members of the opposite sex. While there is certainly nothing wrong with getting a little extra rest, doing something fun and relaxing like playing video games, getting in shape, or even showing interest in the opposite sex, I wonder if you might consider making something more of your months off of school this summer.

I want to be one of those people in your life (hopefully not the only person in your life) to challenge you to do something significant with your life this summer. I see way too many students do very little of value or lasting significance during the summer months. It saddens me to see squandered opportunities, unfulfilled potential, or worse, students moving further away from God, and sometimes even doing regrettable things. This summer here are three things I would challenge you to do:

  1. Get rest, but don’t be lazy. Sleep is a crucial for health. Summer is a great time to get some extra sleep. You can get some much-needed rest, not just physically but also mentally, and emotionally. The biblical concept of shalom is something that God intends for us to embrace. It means peace, completeness, welfare (health) in all areas of life. Rest is an important part of experiencing the shalom of God. Rest means relief, quietness, recreation, and peace. It is a time to enjoy the fruit of your hard work. Even God rested after He finished creating the world (Genesis 2:2-3). Laziness is another thing altogether. Laziness means a lack of desire to expend effort. Laziness means you don’t do anything. While the Bible tells us we need to rest, it warns us against laziness (Proverbs 13:4; 20:4; 20:13; 21:25; 24:30-34). Rest doesn’t mean laziness; it means doing things that will bring you health and refreshment. The word recreation means to do things that re-create you — things that make you feel alive again. This summer, do some things that will refresh you.
  2. Work hard on things that matter. Don’t let the only thing you improve this summer be your body. Invest in things of value. Deepen an important friendship. Do a Bible reading plan. Find a way to serve your community. Share your faith with your friends. Help out with VBS. Go on a missions trip. Do something that matters this summer.
  3. Stay connected to the right people. If you want to not only survive but thrive this summer you need to stay connected to people who will help you remain spiritually healthy and challenge you to grow in Jesus. Hebrews 3:12-14 tells us that staying connected is the key to avoiding the traps of sin (and we know that there are plenty of traps out there during the summer). It also says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). This summer, participate in all of the fun events we do. Get together with friends from small group. Go to summer camp with us. Don’t just veg out this summer. Grow spiritually, relationally, and do something that matters.

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