Wrong Impression

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Do you ever feel like you get a bad rep? I feel like this a lot. Mainly I feel like this because of how we
(I am strictly talking about 20 somethings and Christians)
are portrayed in the media. I am really tired of seeing commercials where the daughter brings home her new boyfriend that has stupid hair, dumb clothes on and is named “snake.” Tell me one person that actually looks like that? The perception is terrible, these are things that I hear people say about my generation: lazy, arrogant, unmotivated, apathetic, prideful, egotistical, unruly, and this is just what my Grandpa says. It has gotten to the point that we are put into a role that we start to live up to. When someone tells you that you will never amount to anything you start to believe you have no self worth.

You can throw me into the role of being a complainer, but in all reality the way that people view 20 somethings is wrong. I am a big component of calling someone up. Giving them something to strive after, to go forth and grab. Unfortunately, this is not taking place. Instead we are being told it is okay to not get serious until we are 30, that you can get by with only %50 of what you can give. I am tired of hearing about waiting our turn. That we cannot give back to society until we have experience and have learned thing about life (AKA, until you get to be 30). Call me naive, but I believe in generation Y. I believe that we are better then what people say about us, and I believe that we can have a huge impact on the world and on the church.

Lane Kiffin has ruined everything. Lane Kiffin is the former coach of the Tennessee football team and current coach of the USC Trojans. I believe he represents the problem. With his recent news of his abandonment of a commitment after only one year he lost the trust of a university and a nation. Lane Kiffin was viewed as the “young” coach, the hot shot 30 year old that was the rising star. Unfortunately, he once again set the example of what most people perceive young people as being, undisciplined and unprepared. Lane Kiffin has once again showed that maybe we are not ready. Maybe in all reality we do stupid things, say stupid stuff, and need time to learn from our mistakes.

I was talking to Pete Wilson the other day (I know, name dropping is very cool) and his word of advice to a 20 something generation was this: don’t microwave your faith. Don’t get so caught up in having instant results that you start to become something you are not just so you can get results fast. I think he is exactly right. I have been in the process of microwaving everything I know. Expecting to gain a voice without the learning the words. In a time where I am looking to give and be a leader, I am simple being called to prepare and serve.

Are you microwaving your faith?

*kyle

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • http://www.nathandcarrie.com/nathan Nathan

    I hear exactly what you're saying Kyle. I turned 30 this year and can tell you firsthand that not much changes once you cross the magic threshold of 30 either. It seems there's always people out there that will look down on you because you don't have experience with this or that. I felt this way before I was married from couples who were married. I felt this way when I was married before I had kids from people who had kids. Now that I have a kid, same deal. What I mean is, I don't think there's ever a time when you “arrive” and people stop looking down on you in some form or another.

    I like Pete's microwave statement. I'll add this too… I've found that if you're focused on not becoming a certain person, over time that's exactly the person you'll become. I've seen this happen firsthand. But bottom line, I think we've got to forget the stereotypes and forget peoples low expectations and just live the life God expects us to live, with no regard for people's opinions and perceptions.

    Paul's advice to Timothy in I Tim. 4:12 has always encouraged me: “Don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.

  • http://andyunnerstall.wordpress.com/ Andy Unnerstall

    I have stupid hair and dumb clothes on, but fortunately (or unfortunately, I'm not really sure) as of yet no one has called me “Snake.”

    You're absolutely right about the perception, and because of people like Lane Kiffin, those of us who are responsible and want to help change the world will rarely get any public attention. We shouldn't be discouraged by that fact, though. How often does change come about through mainstream culture? Change comes from the underground, and seeps along until it is everywhere, and then mainstream culture has to take notice. It's up to us to lead by example and trust that if we are following God's path, change will come, no matter what society says about us.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Great point here Snake (there you go, you have now been called snake)

      It does start from the underground and is already starting.

  • http://tyhuze.wordpress.com/ tyler

    I think older generations have always looked down on the younger generations. I'm sure we'll do it one day too as we tend to idealize the past. Check it out – this quote is attributed to Peter the Hermit who lived back in the 12th century.

    “The world is passing through troubling times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”

    There's even older quotes from Socrates, Hesiod, and various stone carvings that say basically the same thing.

    • http://andyunnerstall.com/ Andy Unnerstall

      I have one question: If he really was a hermit, how did he know what the young people were like? I smell a hypocrite!

  • http://www.synapticlight.com/ SynapticLight

    I know what you mean – everything is a process; relationship is a process. That takes time, even Faith.

  • andywhisenant

    I totally understand what you mean. Sure, we haven't experienced everything there is to life in our twenties, but it gets frustrating when we are always told to “wait your turn” until we have more life experience. We don't have to have experienced everything to be of use in the church.

    Our generation brings something new and different to the table. There are so many twenty-somethings, including myself, who are passionate about the church and seeing people come to know who Jesus really is…but we need leaders who have gone before us to call out that leadership in us and to believe that we're capable of being the next generation of leaders. We're willing to break that stereotype of being lazy, apathetic, and egotistical and actually be the church.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      I am right there with you.
      I think that is why this week on the blog is one of the most important weeks.
      Featuring leaders under 30 that are learning, leading, and sharing life lessons on the blog and the blog community commenting on questions.

      Check it out all week.