Thursday, November 01, 2007

Strength, Wisdom...and Pride

I was blessed enough to be able to attend a retreat this last weekend where Gregg Harris was the keynote speaker. In one of his presentations, he discussed the concept of a "Rebelutionary" household. Of course, this is based on his twin sons' ministry to young adults, "The Rebelution." While Alex and Brett are calling their generation to rebel against low expectations, Gregg is calling on the parents of that generation...and Dad in create a household that enables this rebellion for the glory of God!

Gregg pointed out that Scripture often refers to young adults as having strength. It also often refers to older adults as having wisdom. It never combines the two; young adults are not commended for their wisdom nor are older adults commended for their strength. This is one of the causes of the social pathologies of today. Young men are full of strength with no wisdom available to tell them how to use it!

Gregg suggests a partnership: Young adults with their strength partnering with older adults with their wisdom. Together, they can do amazing things. I find that concept quite exciting.

But there's a problem.

In today's world, our children are being bombarded on all sides with "self-esteem." As a result, we have a generation that thinks quite highly of themselves, and believes they are already the repository of all wisdom. They have no clue that "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child." I am reading another book by J.C. Ryle on the topic of thoughts for young men. Ryle lived in the mid-1800s...but his admonitions are every bit as applicable today as they were over a century ago. His first admonition is against the sin of pride, and he specifically targets the pride of a young man that says he knows more than his elders, and therefore has nothing to learn or gain from them. This is obviously folly...and it's obviously still true today, if not more so. As a result, this generation of young adults doesn't believe they need the wisdom of older adults. Pride condemns any hope of a partnership with parents.

How then, do we then implement this partnership?

It will require efforts and grace on both sides. First... the parents must create an environment where life with them is an adventure, specifically an adventure in Christian love and service. They must have a stated vision, a goal...and the children and young adults must be major players in that vision. Secondly... the young adult must humble himself to the point of understanding he does NOT have the wisdom necessary to be effective in our world, and that his parents do! If he will humble himself and place himself under the authority of his parents as Scripture admonishes him to do, and the parents are actively seeking to partner with him and his strength... great things will happen! The Kingdom will be advanced. The young adult will grow in wisdom and knowledge and character. He will be launched off the shoulders of his parents and will then be in a place to launch the next generation off of his shoulders to points far higher than anyone in the parents' generation could have imagined.

This is a great vision. This is a great thing to apply to your family. This draws families close, while placing their focus on loving their neighbor in the name of the Lord. This will be Christianity applied! But it requires vision and humbleness...both of which God will give if you ask.

May God receive the glory.

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