Monday Motivator – March 8

How are you planning to spend spring break? Do you plan to take Jesus along, or leave Him behind? Where can you go to have fun, yet minimize the chance of being tempted to do some things you shouldn’t? Have you considered using your break for outreach?

I have been on many spring break trips, first as a student, and second as a campus minister. I always enjoy leaving the cold weather of the North for the sunny climate of Florida, Texas, or the Caribbean. I remember the rituals of college students chilling out after a few months of classes, homework, projects, and tough weather back home.

I have seen the entire range of students letting go and letting loose on spring break: The macho guys yelling and hollering at girls from their hotel balcony; the young ladies walking the beach in two’s and three’s in search of the perfect tan, and/or some kind of man (perfect or not); the guys and gals looking to get wasted and experience sun, surf, sex, and suds, no matter what the cost; and the students who feel pressured to participate in activity they would rather not, but are battling to handle the peer pressure.

I have watched these scenarios play out and seen what students are interested in (and it wasn’t lonely walks on the beach, shuffleboard, and acting like a wallflower). So one year I made up some spring break guidelines for the students I knew who were heading to Florida. These would apply to students committed to knowing and following Jesus, and who were seriously interested in enjoying spring break, while doing nothing to “go wild, harm others, destroy property, or cause God (or your parents) to blush or cringe.”

Read Ephesians 5:1-21.

First, remember who died for you. Paul told the Ephesians to “Live a life of love just as Christ loved us” (5:2). Spring break is a break, but are you willing to take a break from your relationship with Jesus? Do not be intimidated or afraid to stay devoted to Him while away from campus. Go ahead and mention Him to people you meet, and keep on trying to live as He would.

Second, show restraint with people of the opposite sex. Paul continued, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity” (5:3). Guys can enjoy girls without shouting suggestive things to them, ogling them as if they were sexual objects for your gratification, and treating them like a potential conquest (of course, the same goes for how girls look at the guys). Go ahead and rate the food, the facilities, the weather, and your March Madness basketball picks, but not one another.

Third, find stuff to drink that does not require your ID to buy. Paul added, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (5:18). You can have a lot of fun without abusing alcohol, or doing stuff you probably would never do back home, may get you in trouble with the law, or hurt you or another person.

Taking a break from classes is part of the calendar. Consider using the guidelines I created, or develop your own. Whatever parameters you set, be sure to follow them. Think theologically. We should party to remember, not forget.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

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