How Our Generation Can Learn From the Older

Old Man Legs

What does it take to learn from the older generation? How can our generation be taught by the previous? These are questions our generation should be asking and answering.

Recently, I posted an article entitled: A Call to Maturity: How the older generation can train the youth of today. One of my readers asked if I would write a follow up post discussing how the youth of today can learn from the older generation. I have given that question some thought over the last week. What follows are a few suggestions.

How Our Generation Can Learn from the Older

(1) Be open and teachable

A learner is someone who is open to learning. If you are to be taught by the previous generation, you must be open to them speaking into your life, which means you must be teachable. While self-esteem counsellors have puffed us up, telling us we are the smartest, most talented generation yet, we’re not. Actually, we have a lot to learn, and those who have come before us have a lot to teach.

(2) Look for those who model biblical manhood and womanhood.

Instead of finding your role models in pop culture, you should look in your church. As you do, look for those who model biblical manhood and womanhood. Ask questions like: Are they kind and respectable? Do they live according to God’s Word, even if it could impact them negatively in the community? Do they love their spouse? Do they serve the church and community?

(3) Look for those who are accessible. 

While you may learn a lot from your favorite podcaster or blogger, chances are you don’t have direct access to them. But you do have access to the faithful saint sitting next to you in the pew on Sunday. While they may not be as famous, they are accessible and most likely able to teach you just as much, if not more. So instead of looking global, look local.

(4) Ask for advice on decisions

One way to start a mentoring relationship is simple to ask for advice on decisions in your life. Don’t assume advice will be handed out unsolicited. Instead, ask for it from others, and then ask again.

(5) Work toward maturity

If you are not working toward maturity, you will not be interested in learning how to be mature. Actively working toward maturity in Christ is a necessary part of learning from others.

Question for Reflection

  1. What would you add to this list? How would you counsel the youth of today to learn from the older generation?

Resource

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How Should Christians Work? – Part 5

Work, it’s something we do a lot of. I am not sure if you have ever figured it up, but on a 40 hour work week, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year working. Over 30 years that amounts to roughly 62,000 hours or 2,600 straight days at work. I think it is safe to say that work is a big part of our lives.

Work is also a necessary part of our lives because without work we wouldn’t survive. We have to pay for the place live, the food we eat, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, and the things we do. So work is not only a big part of our lives, it’s a necessity.

Since we work so much, and retirement is far away for most of us, it’s important we have a biblical understanding of work.

How Should Christians Work?

(5) As Christians, employers must recognize they are ultimately accountable to God

In the second half of verse 1 of chapter 4, Paul says this,

“…knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Col 4:1b)

Just as employees are accountable to God and should work for Him, so should employers. They too have a master in heaven that they are answerable to. Knowing they are accountable to God should drive how they treat and interact with their employees.

Conclusion

So as we have seen, work is a big part of our day and life. We are going to spend at least 62 thousand hours working. As Christians, we can’t separate our church life from our work life. They two have to be one. We have to allow the Bible to influence the way we work.

While we don’t have time in this post to cover all the ways the Bible should influence our work, applying these five ideas are a good start.

Question for Reflection

  1. Are you working from a Christian perspective?

Resources

Post adapted from my sermon How Should We Work from a Christian Perspective?

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How Should Christians Work? – Part 4

Work, it’s something we do a lot of. I am not sure if you have ever figured it up, but on a 40 hour work week, you will spend over 2,000 hours a year working. Over 30 years that amounts to roughly 62,000 hours or 2,600 straight days at work. I think it is safe to say that work is a big part of our lives.

Work is also a necessary part of our lives because without work we wouldn’t survive. We have to pay for the place live, the food we eat, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, and the things we do. So work is not only a big part of our lives, it’s a necessity.

Since we work so much, and retirement is far away for most of us, it’s important we have a biblical understanding of work.

How Should Christians Work?

(4) As Christians, we must treat our employees as we would want to be treated 

In the first part of verse 1 of chapter 4, Paul says this:

“Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly…” (Col 4:1a)

Part of treating others as we would want to be treated is for us to treat others fairly, giving them their due. Employers aren’t to rip their employees off. They work for an agreed upon wage and benefits, which should be given in a timely manner.

As well this means you should provide your employees with adequate working conditions. I recently read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. It is about what was happening in the meatpacking industry at the turn of the 20th century. One of the major things Sinclair highlights in the book is the horrible working conditions. Many were required to work in extreme heat and cold without adequate ventilation, light, or drainage. All that was so their employer could make more profits.

While profits are important, they can’t be our only focus. We also have to focus on our employees. We have to give them what they need to do their job and provide for their families.

Treating others as we would want to be treated also means that we don’t motivate with guilt or coercion. We wouldn’t want anyone to do that to us, so we shouldn’t do it to others.

Really when we use guilt or coercion to motivate others, what we show them is that we don’t really care about them, we just care about what we can get out of them, which is no way to treat our employees.

Instead, We are to think of our employees as people, not just worker bees. The people who work for us are just that — people. They aren’t machines assigned to do a task. They are people whom we have hired to work alongside us. They have families, interests, ideas, and feelings. If we are going to be a good employer, we must recognize that and try to cultivate a relationship as time and money allows.

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you treat others as you would want to be treated?

Resources

Post adapted from my sermon How Should We Work from a Christian Perspective?

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