I grew up hearing — and continue to hear people complaining about young people. The common lament is that this next generation is going the wrong direction. They simply live as they please. They have no respect for others, especially for elders. The complaint list seems endless.
Paul tells Titus to urge young people to be self-controlled (Titus 2:6). We don’t see much complaint about the younger generation. He just gives them direction. He focuses them to a lofty goal: A self-controlled life.
Among adults, I observe two common responses to the younger generation. One is the response I mentioned earlier, with constant complaining about the negatives of young people. The other response is to simply accept things as they are. These people say that young people will always be as they are — irresponsible, self-centered, pleasure-seeking, etc. They feel there is no sense trying to correct them, as “they won’t change anyway.”
I like Paul’s approach: “urge them to be self-controlled.” There is no scolding, complaining, rebuking, cursing, or any of the common negative responses. He simply gives a firm “push” urging them in the proper direction.
I wonder what the results would be if we focus on training young people to be self-controlled. Once they learn self-control, they will be headed in the right direction.
They need to hear the voices of adults who believe in them. They need to hear from people who are convinced that young people can and will move in the right direction.
Will you be that voice? The voice that respects them enough to urge them towards a self-controlled life.
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