“And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. 4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.” 1 Kings 21:1-4
We are all King Ahab. And by “we,” I mean millennials.
I’m not just talking about the way he got dramatic and threw a fit. I’m talking about why he did it in the first place. It was because someone told him no.
My generation is the one that started being told “everyone’s a winner” and “you can be anything you want to be.” Most parents of millennials didn’t want to tell their child in the 90’s “No, that’s wrong.” And the reason I know that is because of the state of my generation now.
Look at them (and the subsequent generation). Anything goes. You CAN be whatever you want to be! I, as a 24-year-old white female, could identify as a 40-year-old Asian man; and I can almost guarantee that most of today’s society would say, “Absolutely! If you want to be that, YOU CAN!” (Trust me, I’ve seen enough videos taken on college campuses where students prove this fact.)
Not only can anyone be whoever and whatever they want, but we are constantly bombarded with the concept of truth being relative. “Truth is whatever you believe.” The massive problem with this is that most people base truth on their own experiences and feelings. How many people who have had abortions will tell you they are fine and they are right? How many people who view pornography are convinced that there is nothing wrong with it?
God’s Word is truth. The end. Whatever people feel or think about sexual orientation, pornography, abortion, immorality, alcohol . . . truth is truth, and truth doesn’t change according to how you feel. To quote Ben Shapiro: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
Young people don’t want to hear that. They want to be told that whatever they think or feel is right and true. But there is a deeper issue here than simply a generation of silly people and their ridiculous notions.
Proverbs 23:13-14 says, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” I’m not saying literally beat up your kid with a stick. But the principle here is twofold. In verse 13, the writer emphasizes the importance of discipline. Children need to know what is right and wrong. But in verse 14, we see a little more of the reason why. Teaching children that they make mistakes and are not always right teaches them that there is a standard for good. And when you don’t meet that standard, there are consequences.
If children are never told “no,” never told they are wrong, they will never see the need for a Savior. It’s heartbreaking, but I see this all the time. Because people believe that they have their own version of “right” and I can have mine, they don’t understand why I try to persuade them to believe the Bible. They don’t see how they are sinful–won’t agree or admit it. And because they don’t see the depths of their sinful heart and ungodliness, they do not see the need for Jesus Christ Who paid the penalty of their sin.
I hear preacher’s say it all the time, and I’ve started saying it too: you can’t convince someone to get rescued, saved, by Jesus, if they don’t understand that they are lost and need Him to save them. If people think they are fine, of course they don’t want someone to tell them they’re not. If they think they are fine, there is no concern about paying the penalty for their sins, which Romans 6:23 says is death–eternal death.
Children, people, need to be told “no,” because if we continue to say “yes you’re right” to everything, everyone thinks they’re OK. Ahab wanted what he wanted, and threw a fit and wouldn’t eat or drink when he was told no. For him, the story didn’t end so well. He was ungodly, and so was his wife who, like a coddling parent, said, “Get up, eat some food, and I’ll get you what you want.” Ultimately, because of his and her selfishness and ungodliness–including killing Naboth to get what they wanted–they both came to very unpleasant ends.
We, not just as a generation but as a nation, need to get used to being told, “No, you’re wrong.” We need to open our heart to truth, not just our emotions or ideas. And we need to purpose in our heart to not let the next generation continue on like this. The King of Kings decides what is truth. The truth is that we are sinners who need a Savior; He has already paid our sin-debt; and all we have to do is accept His gift of salvation and give our heart and lives to Him.
Stop living for yourself. Live for the One Who died for you.