A large part of our American mentality is wrapped around a simple word. ME! What’s in it for me? What about me? What can the church do for me? We have been conditioned, in our culture, to look out for number 1. After all, my happiness and comfort are the most important thing, right?
Wrong, this is not God’s mentality. It is not all about us! I know that is hard to swallow, so let me say it again. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT US! It is about God’s Kingdom. It is about what is best for Him and others. Doesn’t the Bible say, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”? What that means is that we are to be as concerned for others as we are for ourselves.
This thought resonated with me, when I was reading in the book of Isaiah. King Hezekiah gladly welcomed envoys from Babylon (what we would normally call the enemy) and shows them his palace and all of the things that God has blessed him with. In fact, the Bible records that Hezekiah showed them the silver, gold, precious oils, the armory and everything that was found in the storehouses. Hezekiah’s intentions were noble I am sure;) After all, if you were a good king you were prosperous. So he wanted Babylon to know that he was prosperous and good.
Isaiah then shows up at Hezekiah’s palace with a word from God. “Behold all that is in your house and everything that your father built up will be carried away to Babylon. Some of your sons will be taken away and made eunuchs in the land of Babylon.”
Isaiah was pronouncing judgment that would take place in His son’s generation and they would be greatly affected. Hezekiah’s response was repentance and pleading God for mercy, think again. His reply, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”
What kind of father is this? Who cares what happens to my kids as long as I have peace and security?
This is often our attitude when it comes to taking care of the next generation. We so often want to make sure our life is just right without considering what we are doing for the generation after us. We think, “In the church, as long as my tastes are fed, as long as we can keep it the way I like it, then why worry about the next generation?”
Friends, if the generations before us would have had Hezekiah’s attitude, there would be no church. The generations before us left us a church. When we are more focused on our needs than the needs of others, we become self-centered.
My passion is to build a church for all generations. Not just for the young but for old as well. Not just for middle-aged, but for children as well. Not just for married couples, but for singles as well. Not just for white folk, but for all races as well. This is the heart of God.
Every generation must make sacrifices to make this a reality. The most critical thing for the church today is to realize that everyone is valuable and that we must be willing to embrace each generation. Titus 2 tells us that the old should teach the young. I believe our older generation should be mentoring the young generation and passing the baton to them. In turn, the young generation might teach the older generation a few things. If nothing else, they might make you feel younger.
Let’s not have the attitude of Hezekiah. We must be concerned about others not just ourselves.