As a Gen-Z girl, I know firsthand that it is next to impossible to grow in my faith when living in the 21st century. Growing up in a social-media-driven world, I have learned that it is a revolving door of comparison, self-deprecation, and anxiety. With all of these very strong emotions constantly running through us, the last thing on our minds is our faith. As a mentor, it can be so hard to get through to a teen girl who is trying to find her identity in social media and boys, not in Christ. But there’s good news! In 2 Peter 1:5-7, Simon Peter gives us a list of behaviors to have in order to fix our eyes on Christ, grow in our faith, and love others. Here are five tips from a Gen-Z girl on how to mentor a Gen-Z girl, straight from the Word.
Tip # 1: 2 Peter 1:5 says, “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence.” The first instruction we get from Peter is to have moral excellence. So why do we need moral excellence, and how do you teach it? Ephesians 2:3 says, “All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” We are sinful at heart and don’t deserve God’s grace, yet He still gives it in abundance. We need moral excellence because James 2:17 says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Christ is not a free pass to sin and to do whatever we want because He has forgiven us. Sadly, I believe this is what our generation has come to believe as truth. So as a mentor, teach your girls that yes, we are forgiven, and because of that we should try to be more like Christ.
Tip #2: 2 Peter 1:5 also says, “And moral excellence with knowledge.” I am completely guilty of not reading my Bible every day and not always having the motivation to have a relationship with God. Ephesians 4:18 reads, “They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.” Our lack of knowledge instantly alienates us from God, because how are we supposed to have a relationship with someone we don’t know? As a Gen-Z girl with a busy, non-stop life, it can be hard to find time to spend time with the Lord. So, as a mentor, a helpful thing you can do to help your girls grow in their knowledge is to text them a Bible verse every morning. Starting the day with the Word, even if it’s just one verse, can be what it takes to get your girls to have a knowledge of the Word and a strong relationship with the Lord.
Tip #3: 2 Peter 1:6 says, “And knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness.” I feel like self-control and steadfastness tie together well because I know that when I start to slip into temptation, the roots that I have in Christ start to uproot. The first step to having self-control is to identify what causes us to fall into temptation. If you notice your girl falling into sin every time she hangs out with a certain person or watches a certain show, call her out on it. Matthew 5:30 says, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Growth cannot happen if we are blinded by sin. It will be painful for her at first, but that’s how we grow. And once the sin is recognized, it is so much easier to be steadfast in our faith because we don’t have anything distracting us from Christ.
I am so excited to share some ways that you as mentors can help guide your Gen-Z girls in living a Christ-centered life. Growing up in the world we live in today can be very difficult, and trying to find out who we are in Christ seems impossible, so we definitely need all the help we can get! I can’t wait to share the last two tips next week; these last two are going to challenge you as mentors, and us teens, to love through it all. The greatest commandment God has given us is to love our God and love others, and there is so much power in that.