Being far from home can lead to bad decisions if you're not careful

When you're far from home, there's a real temptation to do things that are out of character for you, as you struggle to cope.

If you're homesick, you may look for ways to numb the pain. Alcohol is the most common. Sleeping around provides a diversion and is a real danger if you aren't accountable to anyone. Drugs are a popular way to zone out.

Homesickness can lead to wrong decisions.

What's easiest isn't always best

All these activities may seem like legitimate escapes. After all, you're going through a hard time and you're entitled to deal with it the way you want, right? Or are you?

If everybody else is doing it, what's the problem? That's just how society operates nowadays. Rationalizing is one of the most natural things humans do.

Jack's truths for thriving.

Consequences aren't always obvious,
but every action always has consequences.

You may think your actions don't affect others, but they do always affect you, in ways you might not imagine.

Adding unnecessary pressure

Being far from home puts tremendous pressure on you. Out of your normal surroundings, you're uncertain and yes, if you'll be honest enough to admit it, scared. You try to be cautious but are never sure if you've done enough.

With all this pressure comes an odd realization: "Hey, my family and friends aren't here. Nobody knows what I do. I can give in and experiment if I want."

You can do things when you're lonely that will affect you for the rest of your life. Ask anyone who has an STD or AIDS. This isn't meant to scare you, but rather to remind you to slow down and be guided by your reason instead of your emotions. Regrets often come about because we gave no thought to possible consequences.

Wanting to fit in, you may follow the crowd--a crowd you never would have hung with at home. So you have to ask yourself, "Why am I hanging with them here?"

Does distance matter
when you're far from home?

Does distance matter? Does it cancel out your morals? Does distance relieve you of your commitments to family, friends, and God?

Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said, "Character is what you are in the dark."

If you're a believer in Christ, you're not "entitled" to sow wild oats when you're in a new environment. Just because you're far from home, that doesn't mean your integrity stayed there when you left.

You may be far from home, but you're never far from God. He inhabits every inch of this planet and goes wherever you go. No matter how far you travel, you can't hide from him nor escape him.

Unexpected good news

That means God is always present to help you, as well. You may be in an unfamiliar culture, but the One who knows you best is in your heart. He has a perfect understanding of all situations and predicaments.

God gives wisdom and guidance in answer to your prayers. He gives strength when you ask for it. He reminds you that he has heard the prayers of your family and friends on your behalf.

No one knows what it's like to be far from home better than Jesus Christ. How alien our sinful, selfish world must have seemed to him. Scripture tells us he was tempted, just as you are. He knows what you need to make your travel a positive experience instead of a negative one. He can send you to people who can help.

Keep in touch with your family and friends, but more importantly, stay close to Jesus. He's your closest companion, the One who wants to protect you while you're away and someday lead you back to your true home.

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