1 Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart."
The Silent Generation. Baby Boomers. Generation X. Millennials. Generation Z. Each name represents a group of people born during a specific time frame. And each group has become known by certain characteristic traits. But none have been tagged or labeled more openly than perhaps the most recent two groups as social media is used to spread opinions at whim.
Little over a year ago, I saw a picture that was being shared on social media. It depicted a pickup truck loaded with bales of hay sitting in the middle of a beautiful open field. The tag line boasted how older generations knew what REAL work was. The saddest part to me was that a pastor had shared the picture and was agreeing with the comparison of hard work on a farm to the life of the 'lazy youth' of today who know more about technology than doing chores. Ironically that pastor most likely made his comments from his own technical device.
As I sat looking at the post, so many thoughts went rushing through my mind. First, who's duty is it to teach the next generation about chores and responsibilities? We cannot blame one generation for not achieving what the previous generation never taught or set as a goal.
Second, if we want to have younger generations visiting and joining our churches, then we need to make sure they feel welcomed and not judged. Christ told us that others will know us by our love. If visiting young adults walk into your church, enjoy the service, but wants to know more about the vision or the pastor, they probably will check out social media. If they see a post that is talking down 'this generation', they may feel the same judgement that is found in the world. Chances are, they will not visit your church again.
Third, I RAISED MILLENNIALS! When I read posts about millennials, I think of my own now grown kids. That day, I wanted to add a comment that the post lumped my kids into that 'lazy' group. But my kids had a weekly chore list at an early age. Each of them have visited third world countries spreading the gospel. Yes, they have a completely different mindset in many areas of life than I do even though they have held fast to the things we taught them. Why? Because their millennial world is vastly different than the world my generation remembers. They need new tools to reach their generation.
"We cannot blame one generation for not achieving what the previous generation never taught or set as a goal."
This generation needs us to be real. They need us to show them the love of Jesus. When the widow gave just a penny in the temple's offering bucket, the leaders looked down on her. But Christ did not. Christ saw the reason behind the small amount. He realized she gave all she had. He understood what formed her thinking. What would it look like if we chose to see others through Christ's perspective? What if our first words to someone's actions was not judgmental but was weighed with the question of, "I wonder what happened to them in life to cause this?" Or how about asking our Father, "Is there a way I can help them discover more of their life in You?"
Personally, I want to be known for seeking God's perspective first before I judge in my heart or speak judgement from my lips. If God chooses to reveal secrets to His prophets, won't He also reveal hurting hearts to those who want to help them heal? After all, He knows all and sees all. Let's ask Him today for His vision! Let's weigh our spoken words and our 'posted words' with the love of Christ for those who we are speaking too. May His love shine forth through it all!