Me Generation – It’s Not All About You… Or Me
I have looked into the tearful eyes of many parents as they shared the details of their children abandoning Christianity. While I have learned a great deal about why young people leave the Church, one nugget that has stood out from such conversations is that there is a million miles between our children “going through the motions” in reference to their spiritual life versus our children possessing a heart that dictates their actions. Thus, I think it is vitally important for parents, teachers, preachers, and elders to get to the heart of the matter. In this column I hope to share with you what I hope to instill in the hearts of my own children and those whom I love
Generational names are not new. Those individuals who are now waltzing into their golden years have been long termed Baby Boomers. The X-generation watched the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. The latest generation has been labeled by many as the “Me Generation.” (Or maybe better termed the “I-Me” generation.) This generation has grown up embracing the notion that the world literally revolves around their very existence. Now don’t get me wrong—they have had good role models. The Baby Boomers set the precedent on being a “me generation.” The X-generation then filled in any missing gaps by filling their homes with gadgets, electronics, and technology to please their own desires. So now along comes an extremely narcissistic generation that expects their every want and desire to be fulfilled. Is this a healthy outlook on life, and what does the Bible have to say regarding this mentality?
Here’s what I intend on teaching my children—children who are currently growing up in the Me Generation:
While I love you deeply, it never has been, or never will be, all about you. That does not change my love for you, but it does help us put things into perspective. This world has existed for a long time before you and I came into it. And, Lord willing, it will continue on long after we are gone. It’s not all about you. Simply put, it’s all about Him.
This “I-Me” attitude has become an epidemic. During your life, you will meet many people who believe they come first—that the world truly revolves around them. Never lose sight of the fact that the Bible clearly teaches us that every knee will bow to God (Isaiah 45:23) no matter how rich or famous. This same sentiment is applied to Jesus in Philippians 2:9-11. How frightening will it be to look upon Jehovah God on that Great Day having lived a life revolving around yourself?
James admonished, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10). The Bible teaches us that one of the six things God hates is a proud look (Proverbs 6:16-17). The inspired writer of Proverb 3:34 proclaimed that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. It’s my prayer that you will grow into humble servants of God. Humility is a trait that must be cultivated in your heart. Always ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
No matter how great we believe our accomplishments to be, there will always be someone out there who is wealthier, prettier, smarter, or more successful. There will always be someone who has traveled further, built bigger, or accumulated more. But remember, these are worldly standards of success. If you place all of your happiness and peace in your own self-image or your own accomplishments, then you are ultimately going to live a miserable life.
Having tasted every single thing this world had to offer, Solomon reminded us “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). He then concluded by reminding us the whole duty of man was to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
Please make sure this I-Me attitude does not infect your heart. Make sure this narcissistic attitude does not enter the Church. Our worship to God is not all about you or your personal desires. It’s about Him. He is the audience of our worship and praise—not man. As you look for a husband or wife, as you raise your children, as you find a congregation to worship with, remember Who the world truly revolves around. For without Him, the world would not revolve at all.