Have you ever reacted against something too quickly? Have you ever as they say, "thrown the baby out with the bath water"? I think that all of us have done this and overreacted against something that we didn't like. For example, my wife will no longer drink strawberry milkshakes simply because one time she got sick after drinking one. That's what I'm talking about. I'm afraid I have made the same mistake in a post I made a few weeks ago on what was then the upcoming election. Please allow me to apologize and share some things that I have now had some more time to think about.
In my blog "They Will Know We are Christians by Our Vote?", I am afraid that there was a misunderstanding that I want to clear up. Some people who read this post took it to mean that my opinion was that it doesn't matter how a Christian votes. The objection was that I was insinuating that it is perfectly acceptable for a Christian to vote for people who endorse murder though abortion and who endorse the destruction of the traditional family. This was not my intent when I wrote my blog. I was reacting against the constant bickering that was going on between my brothers and sisters in Christ who I feel had elevated this election and the vote to the place of utmost importance in a Christians life. I felt as if many Christians had hooked their hopes onto a candidate rather than Jesus himself. I also saw the danger of equating patriotism with spirituality. That is what I wanted to address.
So let me say one final thing about this whole matter. I voted for the Republican platform. I did not place my vote for Trump, but rather for the ideals that the Republican party stands for. I still think that President elect Trump is a sinful man and stands for many things that I vehemently stand against (and I do not believe that he is going to "fix" or country or make it great again; my hope and trust is in Christ, not Donald Trump). However, my conscience led me to vote for life for the unborn and for the family values that God has ordained since creation. I believe that as Christians it is important to defend good and shun evil when we can, and I believe that is what I did when I voted last Tuesday. So I don't believe that it doesn't matter how a Christian votes. I do think that God does want us to do what we can to stand for good. HOWEVER, if you made a different choice than I did, I will not allow that to give me an excuse to tear you down, turn my back on you, or cease to love you as a brother or sister in Christ. All I can do is pray and hope that God will work in everyone's minds and hearts to have wisdom when it comes to our political stances. Let's move on.
So on to what I really wanted to talk about in this blog. I want to talk about the aftermath of the election among the Millennial generation that has been getting a lot of press lately. We hear and see stories of protests all around the nation from young people who feel ignored, colleges shutting down on the day after the election, and colleges paying for counseling for students who are distraught over the outcome of the election. They did not get there way, and now they are demanding to be heard. This does seem to be a problem facing our nation, and I want to take a little time to discuss it.
First of all, let me just let the cat out of the bag. I'm a Millennial. Being born in 1985 I am at the older end of the Millennial generation. That being said, I feel like do share some things in common with my younger Millennial peers, but that I am close enough to Generation X to have a similar perspective to them. I kind of feel like I'm in the middle of both generations. I think that will help me to take a step back and look at things from a unique point of view. I have things that I would like to say both to the older generations before me and to my fellow Millennials.
I've heard it all lately. Older generations have been blasting the upcoming generation of Millennials for a while now (what older generation doesn't criticize younger ones?), but it has really come to a head since the election. My generation is looked at as being the entitled group of spoiled brats that don't know what it is like not to get what they want. We are ungrateful for what our parents, schools, and country have done for us. The classic insult lately is that we are the generation in which "everyone gets a trophy". To be honest, even as a Millennial, I see these things to be mostly truthful. These are things that annoy me about my own generation. This is not how we should act and think. But that leads me to this question: Who were the ones giving us the trophies?
My point is simple. I understand that this could be seen as offensive or disrespectful to those older than me. Please understand that that is not my intent in any way. I simply want us all to take a moment to reflect on ourselves and not point fingers at other people or generations for the problems that we face. I believe that it is not only unfair, but also hypocritical for older generations to be as condescending and judgmental of younger generations. There is one simple reason why I believe this; the actions and attitudes of the younger generations are a direct reflection of the parenting and mentoring of the generation before. Why are the Millennials entitled, spoiled, and think that they deserve everything they want? I propose that it is largely due to how our parents raised us, our schools taught us, and how our mentors treated us. We weren't giving ourselves the trophies, were we?
Let me stop right here for a moment. I AM NOT blaming older generations for what the younger generation is doing. We are ultimately responsible for our actions, I get that. I'm just saying that maybe my generation wouldn't believe that they deserve to have what they want when they want it if they hadn't been always given everything they wanted when they wanted it. Do you follow me? Maybe we wouldn't expect a trophy every time if our society didn't always give us one.
So where does this leave us? Let me try to get right to the point. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that it offends me when I hear my older brothers and sisters talk negatively about this generation of young adults. You might think that's just because I am an oversensitive Millennial, but I don't think that is really the problem. I think it is sad that there is such a divide between young and old in our country and society. We live in a time and place where the older generations blame our problems on the younger generation. We are not the enemy. We are your sons, daughters, and grandchildren. I think its time for the older generations to stop complaining about "those young people" and start investing in them. If older people would take the time to love, care and listen to younger people, then they can teach the younger generation how to live more mature selfless lives. I believe this society would be a much better place if this would happen.
On the other hand I have to say something to my fellow Millennials. In response to being blamed for the problems of society, so many times we just shut down and choose not to listen to those older than us because "they are behind the times" or "just don't get us". Don't just whine and complain about the fact that older people don't understand you or care about you. Actively involve yourselves in the lives of older people. They have been around a lot longer than we have and believe it or not they do have some wisdom that would be very valuable for us to listen to. They can't care for you or understand you if you don't let them into your life. We can't expect older generations to respect us if we don't give them the respect that they deserve as well! And for goodness sake, lets remember that we don't always deserve a trophy!
To sum it all up, we need to come together! Older people caring for younger people, younger people learning and listening to older people. We may all have different perspectives, but lets not make each other out to be the enemy. We are all in this together. This is even so much more true in the context of the Church. God has place both the old and young into the body of Christ to work together to do His work and give Him glory! I'll leave you with a few verses that I believe will be a great way to end things. Thanks for reading and God bless!
"But you must say the things that are consistent with sound teaching. Older men are to be level headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love, and endurance. In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not addicted to much wine. They are to teach what is good, so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered. In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching."
1 Timothy 5:1-2
"Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity."