From Jim O'Brien
April 01, 2016

Hi Friend,

The Dependent Generation

Generations have their own names now-generation X and Y are relative new comers. The Lost Generation fought in WWI followed by The Silent Generation of the 1930s. Baby Boomers were born at the end of and just following WWII.

One journalist referred to the preceding generation as "The Greatest Generation" because they suffered the deprivations of the Great Depression and fought in WWII. It's hard to explain the changes that have occurred since that time. Some are obvious, central air and heat, luxury cars, technology and communication innovations.

Maybe the biggest change since the greatest generation is the sense of dependency. Perhaps because many from that era grew their own food, made their own clothes, cut their own firewood and drew water from a well they dug rather than getting it from the tap. Whatever the cause, what has evolved is the irrational belief that "someone else can take care of me better than I can care for myself."

The inevitable consequence for people who give up self-reliance in favor of dependence on the state is a sense of betrayal. The Psalmist warned against the sin of dependency when he wrote, "Do not put your trust in princes or a son of man in whom there is no help." (Psalm 146:3)

Maybe the biggest trap to which leaders succumb is thinking they can take care of the people. They can't-and they shouldn't. People really can take care of themselves. However noble it may make leaders feel for citizens to depend on them for existence, they are making of themselves an idol of worship.

C.S. Lewis wrote that people don't make idols out of bad things. We make idols out of nations, families and churches.

Yes, even churches! And that may be the core of the problem. The Apostle Paul wrote, "My dear friends, you have always obeyed God.... So continue to work out your own salvation. Do it with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12 NIrV)

If any man had the right to govern in the Church of God it was the Apostle Paul, yet he admonishes his followers to "work out your own salvation." Self-reliance is important even in the matter of salvation, in fact, especially in the matter of salvation. In no other area of life is it more important to put one's trust in God.

The job of the Church is to teach men how to connect with God, regardless of whether the man connects with the political church. As Paul wrote to the Hebrews, the meaning of which is captured especially well by The Message Version, "The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd." (Hebrews 11:1-2 The Message Version)

What God wants is for man to depend on Him.

As Paul wrote to the Congregation at Ephesus, "...let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien