The following essay, submitted by quizzer Jenna Bertuca, was selected for this year’s Youth Quizzing Discipleship Scholarship at Q2018. We invite you to read one example of how Youth Bible Quizzing impacts the discipleship journeys of students across the region.
Paul, an apostle, wrote many letters to churches and people, and those letters make up about twenty-eight percent of the New Testament. I have had the opportunity to study many of his writings through bible quizzing. In First and Second Corinthians there are multiple themes that have impacted my life. Paul takes many actions to show the Corinthians that the way they are living is unethical and not how Christ set the example for people. Although Corinthians is often only associated with love, there are two other passages that God has also used to change my spiritual walk with Him this year.
Understanding that “there are different kinds of gifts” is honestly something I have struggled with throughout my life. Growing up as a middle child of five girls, there has always been comparison and competition. I thought that because I did not have the best singing voice or the ability to naturally learn certain skills, that meant I did not have the ability to worship God. Reading 1 Corinthians 12 this year has changed my outlook on God’s call for my life and the spiritual gifts He has blessed me with. “Helping” and “guidance” are two of the gifts God has helped me notice. Since first grade, I have had a passion to help children with special needs. I was in the “buddy program” at Westside Elementary, and I had the privilege of spending recess with the special education class and going on field trips to assist specific students. Throughout the last 12 years of helping people with disabilities in my school, church, and through volunteer work, I have had multiple opportunities to share God’s love with many people. Studying these passages this year has allowed me to realize that working with people with disabilities is one of the gifts God has blessed me with. I plan to continue living out these gifts when I study at MidAmerica Nazarene to become an Occupational Therapist and special education teacher.
Throughout learning about my spiritual gifts, this year has also been a time of finding my comfort in God. 2 Corinthians 2: 3-11 has impacted my life. Although I have not experienced anything quite like Paul did, senior year has brought on “great pressure”– pressure to succeed, pressure to balance education, work, church, and family, pressure to do the best, and pressure to be the best. Being someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder, it is often difficult to find comfort and peace. But God has not called me to live in anxiety or live to be the best according to the world’s standards. God has called me to “not rely on [myself] but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered [me]…” Comfort often times starts with deliverance, and deliverance from anxiety and the stresses this world brings is a major thing God has allowed me to experience this year. He is the “God of all comfort.” This means He is the only true source of comfort. I can not find that in the number of friends I have or being the best at everything. I have learned to rest in His presence and to keep my focus on Him.
Living out how Christ lived is not always the easiest, but I am thankful for quizzing. Memorizing verses has allowed me to constantly think of truth rather than the lies this world burns into our minds. I am thankful for the way God used Paul to impact so many lives, including mine. I am thankful that my “comfort abounds through Christ.”