Social Responsibility

Millenials,

 

friendship is really beautiful. Many of us have experienced really deep friendship where the interactions are sweet and the camaraderie is uncanny. One of the most profound illustrations of friendship was a few years ago when a speaker unpacked the relationship of the Trinity. Before Creation Father God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit all existed in perfect harmony and unity; the creation of man was simply to be an extended inclusion of such deep harmony, unity, friendship. The nature of this friendship was a pouring out of love towards one another; the relationship was selflessly oriented and fought against any hint of selfish ambition.

I think there is something to this illustration of friendship that perhaps the rest of us can glean from. At its bare bones, authentic and deep friendship is something that naturally invites other people into itself. Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit gathered in deep friendship and mankind simply stepped into the invitation into intimacy, I think the way we form friendships ought to take on a similar flavor.

This is all to say, we humans, can be pretty exclusive. We exclude others based on their looks, ideas, and culture. We actually create arbitrary and silly stipulations that have very little bases in the grand scheme of life. How many times have I consciously or even subconsciously created a culture of exclusivity that has prevented other people from experiencing the deep riches of intimate relationship?

This might be a stretch, but I think real, Gospel centered relationships are ones that are selfless, rich, exciting, and inclusive in nature.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

-John 13:34-35

Love is selfless and focuses on others as we focus on loving Christ. This agape love is different because it is not driven by selfish ambition, but a goal of pleasing and honoring Christ. Often times this type of love is uncomfortable, convicting, and challenging altogether. Loving people like ourselves is easy, but loving people who mess with our intrinsic rhythms is highly difficult [if we are honest]. The goal of the day is not to simply love people who are different, but to seek the ones who, perhaps in our eyes and the eyes of Christ, are marginalized, the misfit, and broken in their own way.

We Suck at Multi-Tasking

Millenials,

have you ever tried multi-tasking? It’s pretty difficult to do when you have a slew of things you are trying to accomplish; the amount of things begin to pile up as we begin to display our utmost ability to fail and fall short of our many multi-tasking goals.

I was just thinking earlier today of this reality and, yet, how often do I continue to try to multi-task…and continue to spread myself too thin? This unfortunate occurrence often takes place in my relationships, studies, and my relationship with God. There are so many things that seem to require my attention and I cannot, to save my life, find success in achieving everything I could possibly want in a day’s work.

But you know who isn’t a bad multi-tasker? God. He’s the best multi-tasker we could ever imagine. In this thing called Christianity there is a God who is perfect in nature and can somehow be in every place and be fully aware and cognizant of those who pray and cry out to him. This line of thought got me thinking about the nature of God and the multiple roles he plays in each of our lives.

My upbringing was by no means perfect, but I certainly had parents who were a lot of different things to me. I had a mother, father, friend, mentor, coach, and so much more in the two of my parents. They continually showed me mercy even when I was not aware I was in need of mercy. It’s only in retrospect that I have begun to realize all of the things my parents did for me throughout my childhood; I’ve only grown in gratitude for their kindness and benevolence towards me.

Here’s the thing: for most of us, our parents’ love and benevolence towards us is a mere glimpse of God’s love and benevolence towards us.

How can someone be fully an all mighty God, loving father, and sacrificial friend all into one divine being? I don’t know about you, but I would find it extremely testing to be an all powerful God, yet display the humility required to be a sacrificial and loving friend. I mean, wouldn’t you?

This is the beauty of the Gospel millenials. God fully acts as an all powerful God [he doesn’t have to love us]; he in fact holds all power to end our lives as we exist. Yet, he continues to act as an understanding Father and sacrificially loving friend.

Millenials this is the love we are called to. When we think we are loving people, we can read our Bibles and realize there is an infinite amount of love that we can give because we serve an infinitely loving God. When we start to feel like we are understanding what it means to love we can be sure that God is constantly calling us to higher sacrifice, cost, and initiative to love the children of God; this includes our friends and, guess what, this call also includes are enemies.

When the Bible talks about “enemies” rarely do any of us have people that actually hate us and want to see us die; the word enemies includes the ones that aren’t like us, the ones that mess with our vibes, and especially the ones who simply don’t offer you anything [did anyone say relationship reciprocation].

So let’s be sure to look at those beautiful faces we see in the mirror and ask how we can be more radically loving towards the people of God, friends and enemies included. God never once said “why doesn’t ______ (insert name here) get it?”. God always moved in radical understanding and initiatory love, even when it was inconvenient for him [cue the crucifixion and how Jesus asks for the cup of suffering to pass over him]. Maybe, just maybe, we can do the same as we seek to follow Jesus.

The Fear of Missing Out

Hey Millenials,

the fear of missing out is something that’s always been around, but perhaps has become an exponentially greater influence in recent years. We have a lot of social media these days that allow us to live highly connected lives intertwined with one another.

It is a phenomenon of our culture today in how much value we place in “what we do” and when we do it. For many of us we live our lives through a lense of what we do and what others are up to; often times the fear of missing out drives us to do nonsense things and take unnecessary detours in this journey called life.

 

What if the fear of missing out wasn’t simply an event or singular moment in our lives? What if the fear of missing out is actually a long run problem that many of us fail to recognize until it’s too late? It’s easy to manage our day to day behavior because it is quantifiable in the ways that we go about doing our business. But long term, not so much.

Did you ever think throughout the last ten years the things you could have done different? I do so in a healthy way every so often. For me, the mistakes I have made in the last ten years were all mostly things that could have been avoided had I just stayed the course set for me and listened to the people that had experienced life prior to when all my detours happened.

While life is certainly a process of sifting through our own deceit and figuring out how to pursue righteousness as a result of the grace of God, there is something to be said about fully trusting God with what we have and the people he’s provided us with.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

-1 John 4:18

 

Many have come before us, struggled with the same tensions, and ultimately have responded in similar fashion. Moreover, Jesus Christ himself has experienced everything there is in this life and gives us his word so that we can pursue holiness even in the midst of our own depravity.

The long run fear of missing out drives us to believe that our lives are missing something aside from Jesus and the cross. We think having a certain job or organizational affiliation will bring us to a point of higher understanding; perhaps it will in some regard. For those of us that are fortunate to achieve such feats we end up falling flat on our faces in disappointment; if we are keen on continuing to follow Christ in the midst of such disappointment, we realize we were headed down the right path long before we sought to achieve such feats void of the goodness of the Cross.

If our goal is the Gospel and to obey everything that Jesus would have us do, there is zero room for the fear of missing out on “more”. There is zero punishment for those that would walk in perfect love, trust, and faith in a God who never fails or falters.