The 10 Other Commandments for Young Adults
So I have been thinking a lot about Generation X & Y recently. I have been thinking about what some of our blindspots are. And by that I mean I have been thinking about my own sinful tendancies. I thought I might make a list of 10 Commandments for us that address areas where we as a generation struggle.
1. Thou shalt not believe that you are the what your LinkedIn Profile says you are: Far to often we as young people think that we the sum of our accomplishments. We think that what can be posted to our LinkedIn account or what our Facebook profile says or what our Klout score is defines us. It is not. God is doing things in us that will never show up in cyberspace. We serve a God who is more concrened with our formation as believers than our accomplishments as people. He is still working on us, even if we have hit a glass ceiling.
2. Thou shalt not put your hope in your Inbox: That email from the company that you applied for, from the customer who is considering buy tons of what you are selling, from that family member you have been talking to, from whoever is causing you to impetuously check your smartphone is not as big of a deal as you think it is. We are so accustomed to being connected, that we have no place for slowness and stillness. It is in stillness that we are formed for the rest of life. It is stillness that is the we find a God who loves us so much, he waits. Remember Lazurus? Jesus loved him and his sisters so much, he waited and let Lazurus die. Don’t ask why God is responding in your timeframe. Ask what he is trying to teach you by waiting.
3. Thou shalt take God seriously: God intends to touch all areas of your life. We know this, no one denies it; but functionally we don’t act like it. We don’t take it seriously. God’s influence of what you eat and drink, the purchases you make or avoid, the jobs you take or pass on should be colossal. Treat God better than you treat your iPhone.
4. Seriously, keep the Sabbath, and that doesn’t mean just watch football: You need to stop working. Full scale Sabbath. You need to take Sunday’s off and go to church. Talk to old people. Smile at children. Worship. Listen. Serve. Connect to people you would never hang out with on a Friday night. It is far more important than you think. Don’t watch football by yourself; do it with your brothers. You will burn out far quicker than you think if you don’t.
5. Respect your elders, and not just because they can promote you: Every generation thinks that older people are crazy. Every generation thinks that younger people are terrible. Ask Elvis about being a sex symbol. As Jackie Robinson about being a liberal. You need to age and wisdom from previous generations more than you can think.
6. The silence button can be an indicator of your heart: We are far to tech savvy to hate someone outloud. We see their name come up on caller ID and we simply silence the call. How often do we silence someone because they are awkward or incovenient. Because they are needy or bothersome. John tells us that the way we feel about our worst enemy is the way we feel about Christ. (1 John 3:10 and 4:8)
7. The Internet is a dangerous place, for everyone: Guys, I am not sure if you know this, but the internet is a dangerous place; tread carefully. There is porn, cynicism, and self-righteousness to be found in spades all over the internet. Ladies, I am not sure if you know this, but the internet is a dangerous place; tread carefully. There is emotional seduction, busyness, and comparitive-righteousness to be found by the ton all over the internet. Be vigilant.
8. Your Media choices matter: Most of us grew up in an age where throwing away certain music and movies was a sign of spiritual maturity. (I am pretty sure that I owned no less than 4 copies of a Smashing Pumpkins album.) We have grown up beyond that an become culturally saavy Christians. This doesn’t mean that anything goes. We need to apply our Christian faith to what we listen to and watch. And not only that, did we buy that album or torrent it? Some of these distinctions probably matter a little more than we want to admit.
9. Word is bond: Your word and by extension your reputation is more delicate than you realize. Our generation is notoriously flakey. This is a problem. Stop canceling hanging out with people becuase something better comes along. Honor your commitments, even if it means sacrificing what you would rather do.
10. Thou Shalt not Keep up with the Kardashians: We have a desire to have what everyone else around us has. We have an incredibly warped sense of normal. We have skewed perspectives on wealth and poverty. If our friend gets a new iPad, we want one too. We have consumed more media (TV, movies, Internet, and whatever) than any other generation; and in doing so we have bought a lie about whats normal and what we deserve. Stop emulating what you see on TV and start focusing on what the Word of God tells us is true and normal.