"The Next Generation" - Sunday, November 29, 2020 - by Dianne Prince
"Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come." (Psalm 71:18) (NIV).
A generation gap is the differences in actions, beliefs, and preferences between members of younger generations when compared to members of older generations. Technology is one of the things that has created a gap between generations. My parents grab a phone book if they want to find a telephone phone number. If I need the same number, I pick up my smart phone and talk to it. In two seconds, the phone talks back to me, giving me the number for which I am looking, and the phone asks me, “Should I dial the number?”
Instead of subscribing to the local newspaper, the younger generation wakes up, and before getting out of bed, checks their favorite social media site. They instantly see what is going on in the world of their family and friends. They also receive real time text messages for up to the minute news and events.
To pay their bills, once a month, like clockwork, my parents drive to the Cable Company and drop off a check. Then they go to the power company and drop off a check, and they swing by the auto insurance company to drop off yet another check. Then they mail their supplemental health and life insurance bills via the U.S. Post Office because they are sent to Savannah, GA which is ninety miles away. They always have U.S. Mail stamps handy, and actually worry about the price of stamps going up. Some of my generation and all of my son’s generation pay all their bills online—mortgage, smart phone, utility bill, and streaming service—you name it and it is paid online.
And, not only is there a generation gap in technology, but there is a generation gap created by our moral values, our work ethic, our respect for others, our political views, our religious beliefs, and our attitudes towards different races and groups of people.
As we encounter certain young people over the course of our day, we can quickly see a lack of manners, a lack of discipline, and a lack of respect for their elders. We see some young people raise their voice at their parents, and we see them retaliate when corrected by their teachers. Some young people have no fear of the consequences of their decisions, nor do they have concern for the penalty of their actions.
As Christians, whether young, middle aged, or old, it is our job to bridge the generation gap. We are to meet our young people where they are and help them get back to the values that shaped us into the rich culture that we are.
As fathers and mothers, as grandfathers and grand mothers, as brothers, sisters, cousins, and as mentors to those around us, we have a responsibility to reach out and put forth our best effort to reconnect with those coming behind us. We are obligated to preserve the truth of God's Word and safeguard His ethical standards. What does that mean? It means we are held accountable by God to show the generation coming behind us how to live. God is holding us accountable to reach back, and bridge the gap of knowledge—knowledge of who God is, knowledge of what He has done for us, knowledge of what He is doing for us right now, and knowledge of what God is capable of doing in the lives of those who trust Him.
We are responsible to bridge the gap of faith. We are to tell people how to hold on, and how to hold out, how to be patient, and how to wait until their change comes. And not only are we to bridge the gaps of knowledge and of faith, but we must build the gap of prayer. Young people need to know how to talk to God and how to get a prayer through. And, until they see the need to pray for themselves, we are to stand in the gap for them, praying for God to give them wisdom and to give them understanding. We are to pray on their behalf for them to develop into God-fearing people.
Commit today to mentor a young person. How? Share with him how powerful God is and the need for him to have God as his foundation. Tell him how to depend on God so he can endure through tough times. And pray daily for God to endow him with godly wisdom and spiritual understanding so he can live up to God’s standards for his life.
More daily inspiration can be found in the book Stronger and Wiser by Dianne Prince.