While at Catalyst West last month, Craig Groeschel spoke about the generational tension in ministry. He spoke to the older generation about their strengths and weaknesses and he also spoke to the younger generation about theirs.
The entire talk was great, but one of his points has been on my mind ever since.
He talked about a study that Dr. Tim Elmore wrote about on the emerging generation in the workforce. Employers were asked what one word described the current generation. Almost unanimously their answers were the same. The younger employees were then asked what was one word their employers thought best described them. They were told it began with the letter E.
The replies varied from energetic and enthusiastic, to exceptional and extraordinary. They were all wrong.
What was the one word?
Entitled. “You think you have more coming than you should.”
I think they are right on in that assessment. Considering how kids are given a trophy for just showing up to a game, who really cares if they do something to earn it? Can we all really be winners? Ask the gold medal winners in the Olympics this summer if they want to share first place with all countries represented. What would be the point of competing then?
Kids graduate from college and don’t understand why they’re not given more opportunity.
Hard, blood-sweat-and-tears kind of work has little value in society today.
Now it’s all about who you know, who knows you, and how we can leverage them to get what we want. If we can just get the venture capitalist to hear our idea then it’s smooth sailing until our big IPO day. We’re looking for shortcuts to getting rich, waiting for someone with money, fame, or power to notice us, or hoping our video goes viral and we get our 30 second spot on the Today show.
But even Mark Zuckerburg put in some time. Maybe you think he got lucky, but I don’t think he had a clue ten years ago that he would be where he is today. He was just working. And for him to stay where he is, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him.
I’ve been evaluating my own life to see if I’m just as guilty of this entitlement mentality. As much as I want to say I’m not, I so am.
The work of being a stay-at-home-mom isn’t just one that I can coast through. I can try, but if I do, I will quickly be riddled with whining, difficult, undisciplined kids who will make me and everyone around them miserable.
Being a mom requires work. Hard work. I need to prioritize what’s best for our family as a whole. I must structure our time effectively, teach our kids about life and how to respond to it, be intentional about instilling values in their hearts, prepare them for school, and help them individually grow in the gifts that are unique to them. In addition, I have to make sure we all have adequate nutrition by preparing meals, and make sure our home is a place of refuge, a place that nurtures growth.
The days and weeks that I spend doing the work that the job requires, I’m blessed abundantly. The days when I’m lazy and don’t care if anyone does anything, I’m discouraged and down about all of life. While the work may be hard, not doing the work is so much worse.
As I writer I am seeing more and more clearly how much work is required. I don’t just want a lucky break in the publishing industry. I want to write something good, something worth publishing- no matter how much time and energy it takes. It’s going to take work though.
God created us to work.
There is countess stories in the Bible of men and women whom God called to do something great, but all required sacrifice and work to get there. Work is not easy, but it’s part of life.
Proverbs is filled with verses about the cause and effects of work.
Prov. 10:4 “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”
Prov. 12:11 “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgement.”
Prov. 14:23 “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
These are just some thoughts I’m wrestling with. Have a good week working.