Generation Cedar

I had already started a post about selfishness before all your great comments about it. I looked back and saw where I’ve actually posted, from one angle or another, about selfishness several times before. IT IS THE ROOT OF EVERYTHING WRONG. Hatushili made a great point: selfishness and sin could perhaps, be interchangeable. (For those who are new to the blog, you can see the last post for the topic that led us here.)

We know the answer to all our problems: failure to “love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself”. Really. That would pretty much solve everything. Note that it’s not as simple as Christian vs. non-Christian. This selfishness runs just as rampant among the community of believers as it does among the pagans….scary. Which, in my opinion, is why we’re making so little impact as evangelists.

Regeneration must happen first. But there is something beyond even that that we’re missing; otherwise, we would be seeing a dramatically different lifestyle among believers than the world. I guess that’s why I’m a little skeptical of the trend among churches to see how many people they can get to pray the “sinner’s prayer”, but beyond that, there is little growth or discipleship. Some of you may accuse me of blasphemy here, but praying the sinner’s prayer alone does not guarantee salvation. Only the true work of the Spirit and the true repentance (i.e. turning away from sin) of a person brings salvation. AND, salvation is only the beginning! The process of growth and sanctification are a natural result of a true believer.

So, what can we do to turn the tide? I’m not sure we can convince the millions of living adults who are steeped in themselves to change their ways. Just like a lot of other social ills, I believe our greatest hope lies in the generation we are now raising–our very own children. We have to break the sin of selfishness, and refuse to pass it on to them.

Perhaps as we seek to train them in the ways of the Lord, we would do well to remember the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT, and work to that end. Service, selflessness, putting others first, humility–these are the traits that will have life-changing implications in their lives as adults. Their marriages will be much closer to what God intended; every realm of their lives will be blessed. The whole world will be impacted.

Now think a little deeper: it’s more than just knowing we need to train our children to love others as themselves. But how, practically speaking, throughout our day, do we accomplish it?

Now we get right back to those controversial issues where we part ways. Can a child be sent away from his parents every day, all day, and still receive this kind of intense, selfless training? (Think about the messages they’re bombarded with at school–from peers as well as from the humanism being taught.) Remember: children are born selfish. They don’t learn it. It has to be trained out, prayed out, and rooted out carefully. That’s an intense business! It’s why I firmly believe a mother/wife already has a FULL time job. Absurd to think that she could hold another one and still do what she needs to do.

Will a child receive this kind of training being cared for most of the day by anyone other than his parents?

And if the Lord would bless you with many children, do you think that could very well be an important part of His plan in teaching them/us to be selfless? If we refuse His blessings, could we be cursing ourselves in more ways than just missing out on another child?

How is the way we handle finances in our homes affecting the lessons we teach our children about serving others?

We can’t hope for change, wish for change, complain for change, but sit on our hands and do nothing about it. Are we willing to do what we may be persecuted for, in order to make a difference in the lives of this generation?

One example that sums up our foolish thinking, and refusal to see that A leads to B, is a comment I get from time to time. Someone I know will say to me, “your children are so well-behaved!” Or it may be “your children are so sweet and helpful”…or something similar. The implication is that they are different from the “average” child. It just so happens that the same people (I kid you not), will turn around and argue vehemently that I’m ruining my children by homeschooling them. ??????

Turning the tide of a culture will only be the result of deliberate, intense efforts.

MAIN PROBLEM: SELFISHNESS

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SOLUTION: RAISE UP AN ARMY OF SELFLESS PEOPLE

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METHOD: LIFE CHOICES ENSURING THEIR CAREFUL AND DELIBERATE TRAINING

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RESULT: A GODLY GENERATION THAT HONORS THE LORD, RECEIVES HIS FAVOR, AND WINS THE WORLD BY THEIR SELFLESS EXAMPLE

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