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I know of an exclusive club that offers a lot of luxury and cash so you can party and get your swag on. It may even make you famous or popular. Then there is the sex. But before you get too excited about joining, take a look at the flip side. You run the risk of becoming a drug addict as well as a jailbird. Family and friends may disown you. You’re always surrounded by war and violence. There is loss of free will—and even worse—loss of life. You may gain a handful of perks for being a member, but you will lose twice as much in the long run.

Gangs. Are you a member?

Gangs are everywhere. They are in schools, in communities, and in prisons. Regardless of where they are, most gangs have one common element; at-risk teens. These are youths who grew up with missing fathers, negative role models, and or abuse of any kind—whether physical, emotional, or verbal. On the other hand, there are teens with low self-esteem who seek power through bullying. When there is no love, guidance, and support at home, then joining a gang is one attempt youths use to replace what’s missing. Most young adults become gang members in an effort to be accepted…to belong. They’ll do whatever it takes as a means of trying to fill that gap deep inside.

But may I suggest an alternative source that’s best for filling the empty space in your life. His name is Jesus. He can provide all those incentives you would get in a gang. He’ll give you commitment, loyalty, protection, respect, security, and support. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) The bonus is you do not have to prove yourself to him through violent initiations. All it takes is for you to invite him into your heart.

Allow God to be your leader; his love is matchless. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Just put him in charge of your life and experience his peace. Find a Bible based church, and surround yourself with positive people who will love and accept you just the way you are. You’ll be adopted into a family that genuinely cares for your well-being. Communicate with God daily through prayer and by reading the Bible. As you get to know this awesome leader on a personal level, you’ll realize that the dark hole in your life is gradually getting smaller. But you don’t have to rely on my words; feel free to put him to the test yourself.

About Amelia

Amelia Brown is from the beautiful island of Jamaica. She is a 28 year old Guidance Counselor by profession, but a passionate writer at heart. Most of her articles written are aimed at stimulating positive change under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is also a published poet and a member of Faithwriters. Outside of writing, she enjoys volunteering, cooking, and turning frowns right side up. Amelia currently lives in New York.

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  1. I spend hours each week with some of these youngsters…and some ‘oldsters’ as well. They have taught me much. The tug of the streets is so strong; they desire better. They glimpse it and then it fades away with the pressing reality of violence, poverty and despair. Not by power or by might but my Spirit is the verse God has given me for this week.

  2. Love this article about gangs. So many times people join gangs because they lack family, but when you enter into God’s Kingdom you will have a new family.

  3. Well done, Amelia. Nice job 🙂 Jesus will indeed fill up the empty space inside. He has done it for me and He has no favorites.

  4. Thank you teammates… So often when something is missing from our lives, we look for it outside of Christ. God is gracious enough to fill every gap…even in the lives of “Gangsters.”

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