A pastor from Kenya has been sharing scripture with the AIM-US office for the past few days and happened to mention a book called Generation Me and loved its additional tag-line:
“Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before”
The book makes several claims that I love because it’s so evident in this generation of people.
- This Generation has never known a world that put duty before self
- The most important quality a child can learn is to think for himself or herself
- When on a first date, advice is “just be yourself“
- Tattoos and piercings are just a way to “express yourself“
- Dreams of becoming famous and rich come before marriage and children because “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else”
- This generation is “unapologetically focused on the individual”
- We will produce a generation of coddled, center-of-the-universe adults who will expect the world to be as delighted with them as we are”
- Today’s young people speak the language of “self” as their native tongue
The list goes on and then it continues with what this Generation expects to receive:
- The individual always comes first, and feeling good about yourself is a primary virtue
- They expect to go to college
- Make lots of money
- Become famous
Yet the funny thing is…college admissions are competitive, good jobs are harder to find and keep as well as the fact that housing and health care have gone through the roof. Expectations are “souring” while reality is “crushing.”
All of these things lead to a lot of negative world perspectives. Since there is no longer “one right way” (according to the world) to do things, then it would be easy to say the reason for the decline in manners and politeness can be attributed to this “me” mentality simply because…it doesn’t matter what others think anymore.
The common theme of this world and how the Devil works…is to get us to focus on ourselves and what makes us happy, rather than the grand scheme of God’s infinitely perfect plans. If we can just be distracted long enough to focus on ourselves…then it becomes easy to justify our actions.
“Well, I just want to be famous (and do whatever it takes to get there) so that THEN I can use my new-found worldly resources to serve God.”
“If I can just figure out who I am…THEN I’ll be able to pour into others.”
Well let’s finish this blog by seeing what God says about all of this:
“It’s all about Me…isn’t it?”
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
WHO AM I?
14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to son-ship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
It’s pretty plain and simple if we look at what God has to say. It’s all about Christ…and all things that are “selfish” lead to our own destruction, yet by the grace that has been extended to us…in this same God and in Christ…is where we find our family identity. We belong to God and belong to Christ. We are co-heirs in his suffering and the glory that comes from it.
Everything has to be about HIM…otherwise…when our works get passed through the judging fire, there’s a good chance that nothing will come out on the other side.
“Generation Me” needs to remember what was written in Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.