Letter to younger generation


My name is Scott, and I’m old enough to be your dad unless you’re super-young, in which case I’m old enough to be your grandpa. I love you, so I want to tell you something to encourage you today. (If you’re an older person reading this, please consider sharing what I’ve written here with the young people in your life.)

I’m sorry about some of the things you’ve been told about who you are and who among you is valued. It seems you’ve been told that you are the result of random events. You were born into a world where human life evolved from single-cell life forms which were formed by random cosmic events. You’ve been told life doesn’t have much meaning. You’ve been taught that people who have one particular shade of skin are less valuable and others with a different shade of skin are more valuable even though you did nothing to impact the shade of skin you possess. You’ve been told that your ancestors did things hundreds or thousands of years ago that you need to be accountable for today. You’ve been told that sexual intimacy is a simple biological need that you can satisfy with any other person or people you wish as long as there is consent.

You’ve been told the world is a terribly difficult place. On that, I would agree. People are selfish and proud, and will hurt others to get what they want. The result of this behavior is difficulty in relationships, difficulty in work, difficulty getting the food, clothing, and shelter we need to live, and difficulty in a thousand other ways. People are often cruel to each other, robbing joy and multiplying pain. This is all true. But, in connection to the world being a hard place, you are being told that you exist in the world merely as a victim. You are being told that certain types of people (the ones that are not like you in some way) are holding you back intentionally. They are oppressing you. This message is particularly seductive because, if you believe it, you may give up on even attempting to make your life better, which could make those thoughts stronger and your feelings toward those you’re told are oppressing even more negative.

As an older person, I feel obligated to not only tell you the truth, but to spend the rest of my life amplifying it to the best of my ability in the hope that the truth can flood out what you’re being told.

You are not a random accident existing in a world that was a random accident. You were made in the image of the Creator of the universe, and He knew that you would exist before He created the universe (Psalm 139). You have been uniquely gifted to help accomplish our Creator’s mission on this earth, which is a mission of love. The world is a broken place because we have left the good path the Creator has given us. The way of life He lays out for us is one of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

Our Creator demonstrated His love for us by sending His only, perfect Son to sacrifice Himself in death so that we could be forgiven of all our wrongs. When we experience His forgiveness, our eternity is secure, and we are freed to join His mission of love with zero fear. We can choose to sacrificially love our Creator by learning more about Him and His ways, and allowing His love to overflow in our lives onto those around us. We first practice with our spouse, where our love for one another yields new life, which gives us more opportunity to learn to love. Eventually, your love can extend to your wider family, your community, and the whole world.

A life like this is full of purpose, and meaning, and hope, and joy and love … even in the midst of this broken world.

Scott Tiede is the senior pastor of Delaware Bible Church at the corner of Belle and Sandusky streets.

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