Sometimes I get so wrapped up in living my life that I fail to look around at the world I am living in. But when I watch the news or sit down to watch a movie, I am amazed at how far the world today has deviated from the world I grew up in. Yes, we all get nostalgic and think that our generation had it made. But, when we are only focused on doing the things that we want to do, we often fail to look around and see what is truly going on in the world. If it doesn't affect us personally at the moment, we don’t think about the next generation, the politics of the day, the terrorists, or even about what may be going on across town. We become complacent.
Each older generation is supposed to teach the next generation the lessons the older generation has already learned. The older generation is to make sure that the younger generation not only has correct schooling, but is also taught etiquette, proper comportment and the morals, values and ethics that will produce a new generation of knowledgeable, yet kind and caring people. Sadly, that does not seem to be what is happening. We are also not teaching the next generation that living is not supposed to be just living for ourselves. Instead, many people have role-modeled selfishness and self gratification for the next generation.
As I look at the world today I see new generations that lack knowledge and are lost in so many different ways. Many do not have a clue as to how to live for more than just immediate gratification. Many do not believe in God, because they simply have not been taught or mentored about Him. Many young people today do not believe in God because the older generation has, without saying a word, allowed the educational system to ridicule or exclude God from school life. Only those parents who home school their children may choose to mentor their children in knowing God. Even if our children go to public school, though, we should be mentoring the next generation in knowing and living for God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We should be mentoring them on how to look outside their small world of “self” and immediate gratification to the world at large. We should be asking them what they see in the world and how they would correct certain situations if given the chance. Sadly, even true Christians have become so accepting of the world’s standards, whatever they may be, that we have become complacent and dropped the ball on our responsibility toward the next generation. So how have we gotten so far from what life is supposed to be about?
We were all created by God! “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. … My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.” – (Psalm 139: 13, 15, 16. The Amplified Bible). Isn't it amazing that each one of us was created specifically to look the way that we do and to do the things that we have been given the potential to do.
God loves us so much! He not only created us, but God created us to be in relationships so that we could receive love, knowledge and support. God wants us to love and help others and to tell people just how much He loves them. In other words, God wants each generation to teach and mentor the next so that we don’t fall flat on our faces for lack of knowledge. More importantly, we are to teach and mentor the next generation about the Good News of Christ’s Salvation. So, how are we to do this?
Well, God never leaves anything to chance. God has given us His Truth written in His Love Story, the Bible, along with His commandments to help us stay on the right and just way. God has also told us how best to live so that we won’t be deceived by the devil. But, if we don’t read the Bible and mentor that knowledge, then we and successive generations can and will be deceived by the devil and this fallen world.
Although it didn't start out that way, we now live in a fallen world that is deceived with lies, evil, pride and the need for self-gratification. However, to combat all the bad and evil things in this world, God has also given us His Truth by which to live. Unfortunately, many people today do not know God or what His Truth is. They have been so deceived that they now believe the lies of the devil and this fallen world. To combat these lies, Christians have to prepare the next generation by teaching them the Truth and telling them about God’s love. We may also need to tell others in our own generation, so they will know the Truth and the Good News too. This is where Active Relational Christian Mentoring comes in.
It is amazing to me that there is nothing about the human condition that is not covered in the Bible. God even established mentoring before the process was given the name of “Mentoring.” Although this is not the only place to read about our responsibility to mentor others, Psalm 78, explains mentoring beautifully. The psalmist says, “Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable (in instruction by numerous examples); I will utter dark saying of old [that hide important truth] which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but we will tell the generation to come the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonderful works that He has performed. For He has established a testimony (an express precept: in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, commanding our fathers that they should make [the great facts of God’s dealing with Israel] known to their children. That the generation to come might know them, that the children still to be born might arise and recount them to their children. That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but might keep His commandments.” – (Psalm 78: 1-7. The Amplified Bible.). This is active mentoring! Let’s start fresh today and push away our complacency. Let's start mentoring the next generation and others around us in the Word of God. Although the Bible looks closely at the human condition and shows all our different foibles, it is a beautiful love story of what all God has done to save us from an eternal Hell. We have to share that love story with others. We have to actively and relationally mentor each generation, starting now before it is too late. You can do it!