One of the more amusing concepts to me when speaking with younger individuals is the idea of ‘you don’t know me’. It’s the idea that I can’t possibly understand someone if I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. Given the definitions that we want to apply to these scenarios within our lives it is a wonder that anyone knows anyone at all. Of equal wonder to me is that the (so called) ‘Generation Gap‘ is a one way street. I never hear parents talking in terms of their children ‘not getting them‘. It is always the younger generation that feels misunderstood, unappreciated, or pressured beyond what anyone has ever faced before in history.
Some of these scenarios have been greatly discussed within society. The idea that my generation did not go through World War II, and therefore did not experience the hardships and struggles that my parents and grandparents did. Or the idea that we did not live through the Great Depression and thus do not know true hardship in life. We always talk in terms of our own experiences and allow the idea that those that did not walk the path with us are out in the cold and alienated. It is the idea of ‘you don’t know me‘. It is the (once again, so called) ‘Generation Gap‘.
My biggest problem with the ‘Generation Gap‘ is it invalidates Scripture. The very idea of a ‘Generation Gap‘ is an attack on God’s Holy Word. I would like to ask all the younger generations out there (for me that would be (Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, or Snowflakes – at least according to this chart) a few questions. Especially if you were raised in the Church or have a Judeo Christian background.
If you are a Gen X, Millennial, Gen Z, Snowflake – Have you ever been driven from the Garden of Eden because of your sin? Have you ever had to spend a night in a lions den? Have you ever spent 40 days and 40 nights drifting on a raging sea? Have you ever faced a giant named Goliath? Have you ever spent 40 years wandering in the desert? Have you ever been thrown into a fiery furnace because you refused to bow down to a golden idol? Have you ever spent 3 days in the belly of a great fish?
Because if you have not, then I ask you How in the world do you know Adam & Eve? How can you identify with Daniel? How can you possibly know what Noah and his family went through? How can you identify with King David? How do you know what the people of Israel went through? How can you possibly learn a lesson from Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Or what is the significance of Jonah to you? There is a huge ‘Generation Gap‘ between the stories of the Bible and all of us today. Are we to say they have no relevance?
And I have another question for you – Do you think Adam & Eve, Daniel, Noah, King David, the people of Israel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or Jonah know you? Do you think that Adam & Eve could possibly understand what your generation is going through or is facing in life today?
Herein lies Satan’s lie. If I can’t understand you, then you don’t want to listen to me. Why would anyone listen to someone who doesn’t get them. Someone who is alienated from them, or someone who just doesn’t have the understanding of having walked a mile in their shoes? And if you make your generation out to be so unique, so special, so alone in the world, then you actually alienate yourselves from all of the wisdom God has to offer you.
Here is the other side of the coin to Satan’s ‘Generation Gap‘ lie. Each generation reads the stories in the Bible and they think they have understanding. They hear the stories of World War II and believe they have learned from history, they believe that they understand all that has gone before them, but that all that has gone before them cannot understand them. And in their great wisdom, they don’t even see the irony in that.
I have friends within younger generations that believe in their hearts that they know God, they know the stories of the Bible, and they know history better than I know it myself (much better in most cases). And it breaks my heart that they are wondering in darkness and and are blinded to the fact that there is no light in their life. It also breaks my heart that they have no understanding of the understanding I have of them.
My understanding of the world, and thus all the generations that have inhabited the earth, comes from God. My understanding and my wisdom begins with the Lord. And where it does not, it is not understanding or wisdom. I seek to see through God’s eyes. For His eyes see all, and He knows all, even you who think you are not understood.
And I understand that these Biblical stories are not just stories to inform me of days gone by. They are not for my entertainment or so that I can weave them into a nursery rhymes for those younger than myself. Those stories are life lessons. They are a guide. Not to tell me of the heroics of others, but to show me what Faith, and Strength, and Love, and Hope are made of.
You see, once you’ve spent a night in the lions den, once you’ve lived 40 days and 40 nights on a raging sea, once you’ve walked into the fiery furnace, once you’ve faced a giant named Goliath … that is when you know that God is Faithful, that is when you know that God is Love, that is when you know that God brings hope into a hopeless world.
I embrace the lion’s den, and the raging seas, and staring down Goliath in my life. And I pray that God would show me His Glory, not for my sake, but for His Honor. And unless I can pass that on to those that come after me, then how are others to see Christ in me? And that cannot happen with Satan’s lie of the ‘Generation Gap‘. Consider it.