One of the things I want to go over with my new student group of freshman guys is figuring out where their “stumble zones” are. For each of the 14 guys in my group that could be anything. I’m not just talking about porn and relationships with girlfriends, although those are probably two of the biggest areas we need to concentrate on. I had a former student in one of my small groups that had a really bad problem with cussing, but it dawned on him that he got really bad when he was around one particular friend. Our solution was that he and his friend needed to commit to working on their language and to encourage each other. They started a “cussing bank” and each time they said a four-letter word it cost them a quarter. They both were astonished how fast they were accumulating quarters but it really was a way for them to see how often they were cussing. There were three things here that helped them conquer this problem:
- He recognised what brought on his bad language, that is, trying to act cool in front of his friend
- They found a way to measure how bad the problem was
- They became accountability partners and worked together to fix the problem (Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one…)
Another one of my students was concerned that he and his girlfriend would cross the boundaries they had set up in their relationship, they figured out where their weak times were and avoided things like being at each others house when they were alone, or their parents had gone to bed for the night. They both committed to each other to recognize when things were starting to move too fast and to back off. They sought help from their friends to keep in touch with them and keep them accountable.
One of the best ways to avoid problem areas are to figure out and deal with the times or situations that place us in jeopardy, and those times when its easiest for us to give in to what Satan wants us to do and not the way God wants us to go.
Question: Have you talked with students and helped them figure out ways to avoid the stumble zones in their lives?