Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The "No Respect" Generation

For years, Rodney Dangerfield was known for one very famous line. Whether it was while doing stand up, being on a talk show, or starring in a movie you could be sure at some point you would hear him utter the words, "I don't get no respect!" Johnny got me thinking about this generation with his post on The "No Problem" Generation and it has occurred to me that this generation is also the "no respect" generation. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2 Paul gives this counsel to young Rev. Timothy, "Do not sharply rebuke and older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity." Here's the point, respect those that are your elders just like you would show respect to your parents. It seems that telling someone to treat men and women like you would treat your parents used to mean something. With today's generation it may be dangerous to tell them to treat people like they treat their parents. To be sure, parents have their blame in this as well. Rarely in my ministry with youth over a span of ten years have I been addressed as sir with the youth I have come into contact with. On the surface, this seems to be nit picking. However, it reveals that there is no such thing as respect with our rising generations. They have rejected any kind of submission to authority and rebel when you try to place them under it. It is commonplace now for teenagers and even young adults just to walk away when you are trying to talk to them and answer your questions with words like "yeah" and "nah." On a recent question and answer on the Grace To You broadcast, I was horrified at a little girl who repeatedly answered John Macarthur with "uh-huh". She did this at least 20 times! Dr. Macarthur was much more gracious than I wanted to be. I couldn't help but wonder what was going through the minds of that girl's father and mother as she demonstrated her lack of respect for not only her elder, but a man of God. Maybe nothing was going through their minds. Maybe they would have responded the same way. We live in the "no respect" generation. A whole generation of Rodney Dangerfields. That's scary.