Thursday, February 28, 2008

Guest blog: Generation Me! (Part 2)

This is the final part of Joey's series on Generation Me. Please share your thoughts and ideas on this very "present" issue facing the Church today.

Yesterday we began to explore the “Why?” behind the rich young rulers’ idealism relative to how applicable it is to todays’ “Generation Me.” Much like Generation Me, the young ruler believed it was all about him. He could do anything he set his mind to; he was entitled; the world owed it to him. It was all about what he had accomplished. Jesus basically was telling him that it has nothing to do with him! Jesus was telling him forget what you have or think you have. I don’t want that, I want you! Follow me! He couldn’t handle it; he sadly walked away.

So how do we as the church address this narcissism and “self” pre-occupation? Jesus gives us the answer. He told the young man to sell everything and give it away. Was Jesus being literal? Did Jesus REALLY want him to sell all of his possessions and give the money away? I believe the short answer to that question is: Yes and no. There is no reason to believe Jesus wasn’t being literal, but I think more importantly, Jesus was trying to show that this person was consumed with himself, his achievements and possessions. It was all about how he had kept all of the commandments. It was about who he was. Unfortunately, who he was, was wrapped up in his things. How many young people today are identified by their “stuff,” especially in todays hyper-techie world?

As a church, we need to lovingly address this narcissism and help turn the focus from self (self-idolatry) and back onto Jesus. In an attempt to do just that, Jesus simply told him, “Follow me!” Isn’t it interesting, Jesus called 12 disciples who had nothing, they were simple fishermen and a despised tax collector, with a simple “follow me”. They had nothing to lose and they gained everything! Imagine what this young ruler could have gained if he could somehow see past himself. As we reach out to this Generation Me, we must be willing to lovingly and honestly confront this unhealthy preoccupation with “self.” Obviously this is not an exhaustive dissertation on the subject, but, to my mind it provides a platform for healthy conversation. What are your thoughts about Generation Me?


Thea said...

Great blog - it's interesting how much we cling to the Lord when the security we have had slips away (money, job, social status). It's hard really evaluate your heart and address your own preoccupations and internal definitions of "self" - great stuff to think on. Thanks for sharing :)

Joey said...

Thea, you're so welcome! It's just a great reminder that God truly wants US; It's ALL about relationship.