This post is a continuation of a discussion on an informal survey that was taken by a Christian magazine.
4. Next Generation
The fourth concern is, and I quote: “Loss of the tools to educate and shape the rising generation.” This may have to do with fewer kids attending church and Sunday school, lax discipline by parents, and fewer positive messages from the culture. The culture used to be rooted in biblical values, but that is fading away so there is little exposure to positive values in the general culture. From sitcoms on TV to movies to games, the culture celebrates negative values: violence, getting even, materialism, and casual sex.
Even if parents are trying to teach their kids good behavior, morals, and ethics, these aren’t being reinforced if the kids aren’t in Sunday school. In addition, it appears to me that more parents are failing to set boundaries and enforce them. As a result you have a younger generation growing up without knowledge of a transcendent code of morals and ethics. Moreover, they don’t know much, if anything, about God and the Bible, and are often lacking in discipline – we see the results in next area of concern.
5. Selfishness, Entitlement, and Complacency
The fifth concern is, and I quote: “Sense of entitlement, selfishness, and complacency.” I think that is a big one and encompasses a lot of territory.
A fair number of people think the world, the government, their employer, and just about everybody else owes them – they are entitled. I’ve seen young people enter the workforce with the attitude that: “You pay me, and I may or may not show up for work, depending on how I feel. But you owe me a living”
Selfishness and self-centeredness are nothing new, but we see them growing in our “me-first” society. You see self-centeredness and entitlement in advertising, such as:
-“You deserve a break today”: from that old McDonald’s ad.
-Have it your way at Burger King (another old ad)
-You deserve to drive that overpriced car: you’ve earned it (Lincoln).
The third item in this category, after entitlement and selfishness, is “complacency.” The dictionary defines “complacency” as “uninformed self-satisfaction.” From the spiritual viewpoint, I think complacency means that you feel you don’t need God, that everything’s OK without God in your life. This can lead to a feeling of self-sufficiency and a false sense of security, but then guess Who they blame when things go wrong in their lives? They often blame God, wondering why God abandoned them when they are the ones who kept God out of their lives.
More about this survey in future posts. Note: Survey is from World Magazine, “What Ails Us” by Joel Belz, (July 28, 2012, Vol 27, No 15, page 3)