I got a little fired up speaking to our high school students last night.
We were looking at 2 Peter 2, which says:
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”
Peter was warning the early church about false teachers. These false teachers attempted to lead early believers astray, enticing their flesh and lying about freedom.
I told our students that different media today attempt to lead them astray in the same way. Young people today are told that their lives and choices don’t really matter because of their youth. They have freedom to do whatever they want, regardless of the consequences. Our young people are told that their greatest contribution is simply living irresponsibly and making poor choices.
If anything is false in our world today, that message definitely is.
Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha and One Direction sing songs that glorify this false mindset. Miley sings, “It’s our party we can do what we want.” Ke$ha sings, “Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young.” One Direction sings, “Tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young.”
These lies tell young people that their lives and choices don’t matter, so they might as well choose to do whatever feels best. It’s a demeaning mindset that belittles the unique contribution each young person can make for God’s kingdom.
Each young person is a handcrafted work of art that God has placed on this planet to do his work. Instead of believing and living out that truth, young people are encouraged to take the path of least resistance. Young people see the low expectations set for them and are rarely encouraged to go beyond them.
And if we care about young people, if we care about seeing the next generation seize its God given potential, then this lie should disgust us. We should be disgusted by the low expectations set for young people. We should be disgusted by the idea that young people have nothing more to give than their poor choices.
And if we care about young people, if we care about seeing the next generation seize its God given potential, then we should seek to elevate the truth. We should tell young people that they are handcrafted works of art with limitless potential. We should encourage young people to find out how God wants them to make a difference in this world.
God has given us the task of passing on his truth to future generations. We can’t allow God’s truth to be drowned out by our culture’s lies.
How can you help young people see the truth of their calling and potential?