This has been on my heart for awhile. I am so proud of my adult children. They amaze me and I want to be their biggest cheerleader.!
Between a little talk radio and social media over the past few years, I got really tired of millennial bashing. Maybe you have heard it. Maybe not. Oh believe me, I’ve heard stories of millennials who can’t hold a job, want to live at home forever, or want to travel the world at someone else’s expense. I am not here to defend them.
I just think it’s time to speak up for the millennials and the ones called Gen Z who put the pedal to the metal so to speak. They get out there and do what it takes. Do all have careers they planned for? Maybe not, but when I look at my own children and their spouses, I see millennials who are purposeful, persistent, and persevering. I see them committed, community-minded, and charitable.
What we speak over a generation matters! In 2013, TIME magazine called them “The Me Me Me Generation” in an article that gives all kinds of stats mentioning narcissistic personality disorder and the effects of all the participation trophies. It’s an interesting read. They have the stats, but we have the Word of God.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Proverbs 18:21 (ESV)
What we say matters. Maybe there is a lot of self-centered entitlement in the younger generations. I wouldn’t suggest we deny that, but why zero in on that? Let’s lift up the good we see. I know my kids, all over 30 now, had to work their way through college. We split the cost of college with them, but they knew they would need jobs throughout college and as soon as they graduated. They worked hard and sacrificed to pay off their school loans quickly. Not trying to stir up today’s political issues, but they didn’t have an offer from the government to pay off loans for them, so they did what they needed to do. I know a young Gen Z who recently chose to come back home from University to attend community college, live at home, and save money. She’s working hard and earning while studying and training for her career.
I look at the millennials I know and see an incredible corps of entrepreneurs, financial and organizational experts, creatives, health care workers, lawyers, governmental specialists, managers, ministry leaders, great moms and dads, and the list goes on. There is excellence in every generation! Look for it. Focus on it. Empower it through your words and prayers.
Excellence. We have the privilege of calling it forth and calling it out. If you are older than the Millennial generation, pray for all those who come after you. Don’t complain about them. Tell them they are doing a great job when they are, and remind them of their potential when they are not. Be their biggest cheerleader, not so they can get a participation trophy, because good or bad, we all have to participate in this life.
Cheer them on to run their race, to impact and change our world. They may be the very ones that save us from the destructive divisiveness that’s been circling to destroy civility and kindness in our nation.
In the Bible, the prophet Joel called forth greatness in generations he had not even met, saying, “…And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams." Acts 2:17 (NKJV)
I know in the church world we often like to make that verse about church ministry, but when I read Isaiah 60, I understand God’s intent is far wider than the church as we know it, He is about impacting nations. That will take influence in every area of life, every occupation, skill, and career. If you are a Millennial or from Gen Z, we see you. We believe in you. You are destined for more than the world can see.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3 (ESV)