The chubby little fingers reached for your phone. You looked down at the 1-year-old in your lap and laughed a little. The ease with which she swished her finger across the screen to look at pictures continued to prove humorous, especially when she knew how to hit the center of it to play a video.
How toddlers who can barely communicate with words know exactly what to do to watch videos and stare at pictures on your phone is both impressive and curious. Impressive because it points to how incredible God’s creation of the human brain is. Curious because it makes you wonder what the next generation’s high-end technology will be. And it makes you think about how much has changed since you were that age.
A look at the generations
Every generation remembers a specific product or technology that grew up with them. What one generation fondly remembers as a way to listen to music, another might ask, “What’s that?” A question that will forever come from the mouths of babes with the way the human race continues to learn new ways of doing one thing and improving another.
We tend to define people by their generation. The baby boomers. Generation X. Millennials. And it makes sense to create an easy way to learn about why people of a specific age group think and act the way they do. Or why certain generations can’t seem to understand one another.
And then we either cling to or reject the adjectives of our generation in hopes of learning how we define ourselves. While one baby boomer might go to lengths to prove they are just as tech-savvy as any 20-year-old, a millennial might work to show they can hear someone else’s opinion without feeling offended or starting a social media argument about the conversation.
There are many reasons we try to fight against living the stereotype of our generation. We don’t want something we can’t control to define us. Yet how many of us allow situations from our past or people in our present to define who we are?
How do you define yourself?
What we go through in life and the people we come in contact with shape who we are. There’s no denying that. But have you ever allowed a situation or a person to impact you in such a way that you still look at yourself through the lens of what happened?
Maybe you were a victim. Maybe you made a poor choice. Maybe what happened was completely out of your control. Whatever your story is, one thing is sure: Who you are now is not chained to your past.
While decisions made and words spoken can’t be taken back, you can have freedom in Christ. Not only freedom from death, but also from any adjectives you use to define yourself based on your past. Christ sets you free from all those stereotypes.
Christ sets you free, but it’s your choice to remain in that freedom. It’s true that you no longer live as a slave to your past. But if you go throughout your days picking up the stereotypes and the hurt and the unforgiveness, then you will end up carrying a weight that will indeed define you.
Choose to live as a child of God instead of a child of your generation. Yes, those creating generational names have labeled you. The stereotypes and adjectives of your generation will follow you. But they do not define you and neither does your past. If you have surrendered your life to Christ and live each day for Him, then you must stop living as a victim to your circumstances and memories.
Times will continue to change. Technology will improve, more generations will be named and children will wonder how their grandparents survived when they were young without the newest gadget. Don’t get lost in the past. Don’t allow anything or anyone except Christ to define you. Use your circumstances to grow and mature, but don’t use them to forever lock you into a specific definition of who you are.
Choose this day to remain free in Christ. And then stand firm.
Let’s Talk About It: How can you cling to how Christ defines you instead of your past?