A Message to Baby Boomers About Millennials or
Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me In My Twenties
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
2 Corinthians 5”16 NASB
What is a millennial? Generally speaking, a millennial isa person born in the early eighties to early nineties and even those born in the early 2000s; the offspring of a baby boomer. If you listen to pop culture, this generation of young adults are lazy whiners who have no vision or direction and walk around in a mental and emotional malaise of indifference and generally have a sense of entitlement. Yet, that is not what I see when I think of the millennial generation!
God’s Word tell us to recognize no man according to the flesh. We are to recognize each individual - regardless of the popular stereotypes or perceptions - according to the potential God sees in them! When I think of a millennial in this light, I see young people with the potential of being visionary, positive, hard workers who are the movers and shakers of our world - and of God’s Kingdom!
Whenever I hear the talking heads in the media describe the millennial generation, I hear the old negatives that used to be said about me when I was a young adult! In a sense, nothing has changed! My generation was driven to perform for affirmation and acceptance. Replace today’s descriptives with my need to be affirmed through performance and the result is the same: people consumed with their need and going about meeting those needs in their own strength.
This reality got me to thinking about what a few kind words by the older generation could have done for my emotional and mental state of being. The very power of life and death is in the words we speak. We can either speak curses or we can speak blessings. This led me to thinking about what I wish that generation had told me when I was in my twenties. What follows is in no particular order of importance. Here are a few of the things that came to mind in the order they came to me:
Everyone has baggage.
The grass is not greener on the other side.
God wastes nothing. Not my sorrow. Not my pain. Not even my failure.
Honesty leads to freedom.
Guilt and shame are different. Guilt is the realization that I have done something wrong. Shame is the belief I am something wrong. Jesus dealt with both on my behalf. I am absolved from guilt and I am a new creation in Christ.
God does not command me to agree with others. He commands me to love.
Love is defined by the laying down of life.
It’s OK to be different. It is Ok to a different from a woman. It is OK to be a man.
It is OK to fully embrace my masculinity in spite of what the culture says.
It is Ok to swim upstream against the cultural flow.
Seek Jesus and not a ministry. Ministry flows out of your relationship with Jesus.
It is good for the redeemed to say so.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Hard work and consistency over time leads to success.
I wish someone had taught me how to handle money.
I never leave God’s presence. I either ignore Him or forget He’s here.
Hurt people hurt people.
Every human heart longs to know and to be known.
It is OK to fall apart as long as I fall apart in the arms of my Maker.
God uses broken vessels.
Life is not fair but God is just.
The Kingdom of God is not a democracy.
All people are not equal in gifts, talents, abilities, or wealth but all are equal in God’s love for them.
Happiness and joy are two different things. Happiness depends upon my circumstances. Joy depends upon my relationship with God through any circumstance.
Happiness is not a right. It is a blessing.
My gifts and talents were designed for use in God’s Kingdom. It is when those gifts collide with my brokenness that I discover my calling.
I always have a choice as to how I respond to circumstances I have no choice over.
He who has no Truth foundation is destined to flounder through life.
It’s OK to be sensitive as a man.
It is OK to say no.
It is OK to disagree with another person. I am not a racist simply because I disagree with someone of another race. I am not homophobic just because I disagree with a homosexual.
I am defined by my Maker and I have His spiritual DNA flowing through my veins.
Healing is a process.
You will grow old. Enjoy the journey.
Live to leave a legacy.
I am a bestower of identity and blessing.
You do not have to go to college.
It’s Ok to be a stay-at-home mom.
Wait and see because life has a way of working itself out.
You can count your true friends on one hand. The rest are just acquaintances.
It’s all practice.
Don’t waste energy on a lie.
Put on the other person’s shoes for a bit.
Make others feel important.
Be present and not in such a hurry.
Get off your cell phone and engage people face to face.
My parents are smarter than I gave them credit for.
It’s Ok to not know what you want to do.
You will fail from time to time. The only failure is when you fall and do not get back up.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21 NASB
I could go on…and I will as time goes on…because I believe their is power in the words we speak to one another. Even when we are not speaking to a millennial but are speaking about them, we can speak curse or blessing. There is power - whether you realize it or not - in the words we baby boomers speak over and into the lives of our millennials. Speak life and watch life spring forth.
To all millennials who read this, you may find yourself feeling as if you are in the middle of nowhere concerning your life. Here’s little secret: we all go through such times in our lives. To help you traverse these feelings, I have written a song that I hope will encourage you in the middle of nowhere. Watch the video at https://youtu.be/SblrWBom8hE and download the song at https://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3954
This article/blog was written with the help of the Christ followers at my home church, All In All Church. I asked them for things they wish others had spoken into their lives in their twenties and they went to town, so to speak!