Feb 9, 2011

Without Deodorant You Will Be-Odorant

      After working in student ministry for more than 10 years, I have come to recognize three things about seventh graders:
              1. Give me an army of seventh graders and I can take over the world.
              2. They are happy doing just about anything as long as it involves being loud.
              3. Seventh grade students smell terrible!
      Don't get me wrong, I love seventh graders. They are full of energy and love to hang out with caring adults. But let's face it folks, facts are facts.

      Fact 1: Students' hormonal levels are changing drastically in, or around, seventh grade.
      Fact 2: Parents are going through denial about their little boy/girl growing up (this results in lack of
                  training in proper hygiene).
      Fact 3: They avoid taking a shower like the plague, especially while on youth trips.
      Fact 4: They are constantly moving, which leads to constant sweating.

      Many times adults and youth workers shy away from speaking the truth into the lives of our stinky disciples. Their peers however, are another matter. I have often laughed when thinking about one smelly preteen telling another smelly preteen that they need a bath.

      The same is true in life. How much easier is it for us to notice the stink of bad decisions on the people around us than on ourselves? We know they are being dumb and can't quite figure out why they keep making the same mistakes. We become judges in our own minds, not realizing that we stink just as bad.

      Seeking out accountability can act as spiritual deodorant. You need someone else in your life with the guts to speak up when you need a bath in God's grace. If you do not have such a person, you need to find one. It can be a mentor or a good friend. Give them permission to ask you the tough questions, and be honest with your answers. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend- Proverbs 27:17

      We need to remember--NO ONE CAN SMELL THEMSELVES!


Kelly said...

What an awesome post! I was just thinking the very thing. And it doesn't matter what time of day-- whether they just got to school or got out of gym. They are smelly!!! I especially like the way you tied it into accountability. :)

Inside Nate's Head said...

Thanks, yeah I don't envy your job, but they are awesome people.

Anonymous said...

We have a seventh grader and I eat lunch with him at school. Same problems with all the boys. Thanks for all you do.