Repent. (To a generation)
I want to start a 4 part series here with humility. I have never seen anything good happen with people, in a nation, or in history that did not start with a humble heart and repentance when necessary… and, it’s necessary.
I represent American men, fathers, pastors/ministry leaders and business leaders. As a father I would like to repent to a young generation, (15 to 33ish year-old), and say I am truly sorry for not telling you that life is hard. Most of life is a fight, and it takes big balls, honesty and integrity to live it right. We told you life is about right and wrong, it is not. Life is just that, it’s about life and death. Simply put, do you bring life to every situation, or do you talk negative about people, get jealous over others success, speak down about most everybody like you were taught? That is death, and we have modeled it very well, or very bad. As a father we are sorry for telling you it’s all about you, it is not. You are not that special, you should be bullied sometimes, you should get in a fight or two and you should get your butt kicked. We overprotected you, we told you that you were the best and we spoiled you. We told you obtaining and opulence, running others over to be better, living above your means, was right, it is not, it is sin. I am sorry for lying to you with my actions, and with my life, please forgive me.
As a pastor/ministry leader I would like to repent to you for making you run away from Church and ministry. I do not blame you for doing it. We pastors have tried to build our own ego’s for decades now; we told you that bigger, more money and “Mega” was the way to build, it is not. We tried to get you to buy into the lie that we could “do more for the kingdom” the bigger our church’s and ministries got, but we cannot. We taught you to live off other people’s money to travel the world and do ‘Missions’ for that we are sorry, it is a broken system… We have mis-represented scripture and the very man, Jesus Christ. We have shown you a God that our fathers before us knew; angry, distant, and needed you to perform to “Make it to Heaven”. At the same time we taught you to sing songs about escaping earth to get to heaven – that is not God, and it is certainly not Jesus. We overcompensated and have been lying to you about a soft, wimpy God that is not wild and passionate; He is wild and He is after you! We told you that you were the generation that was going to bring revival, you alone were it! The best, the brightest, the “ones” –only you are not. We told you that you should build a legacy, put your name on a building, or a non-profit, or… We turned you into the most narcissistic generation yet, and it is our fault – it is not about us either, and it certainly is not about me, me, me. We have taken the power out of the church and made it about us, more than Him – we tried to convince you that conferences, rally’s, stadiums were it, they are not. We told you that politics and school are your real God, they are not. We blew so much smoke at you, played louder music, had snow falling from the ceilings, fog machines, big named guys coming to “Show you the way”. All the while telling you not to be gay, not to do drugs, not to be greedy, not to be full of pride, not to look at porn, while most of us were. Over and over as leaders we continue to fight other pastors and ministry leaders, we cannot get along, we cannot humble ourselves and fix ourselves before trying to fix and blaming everybody else. I am sorry as a pastor for lying to you over and over again…
As a business leader I need to say sorry. We need to repent for our dishonest business practices, lying to raise money for our companies, hating it when others are successful and suing, especially “Christian” business people, at every chance we get! We need to repent to you for the fighting, backbiting, unethical ways we do business. Just like ministry leaders we have not demonstrated integrity, community, preferring one another, making others better and more successful than ourselves… it’s all about us, me, and we have once again imparted narcissism on to your lives. Mostly we have not taught you how to leverage yourself, how to make your money work for you; stop begging for people to support you and start creating wealth. Stop with dying in a cubical watching life go by and start living your dream. for all of this, I am sorry.
As a man, that represents all of these “Offices” I am deeply sorry. Life is not about you, but… you are about life. When you live to make others great, when you learn to give a hand up, not always a hand out. When you make God your God, not college, not a job, not your significant other- when you learn to be quick to repent, become the first one to humble yourself, first one to make it right, you will get ahead. When you chose integrity every-time, chose joy, chose to prefer… when you live to please Jesus, not perform for Him, not blame Him – life will still be hard, you will still have to fight, but… you will not be so much of the cause of your problems, and you will be much less narcissistic. We are sorry, and we are ready to walk with you.