Everybody has one. The friend who listens too fast. The friend who nods too often and finishes your sentences before you have time to complete them. The friend who hijacks your train of thought, leaving you wondering what you meant to say in the first place.
With every interaction, you want to say, “No, that’s not where I was going. Not even close.”
Search engines are like that friend. Smart technology attempts to guess at what you’re searching for before you finish typing. Google likes to finish our sentences, but the top results are often very telling about what a society thinks about a subject. For example, I recently plugged in the phrase “Millennials are” only to have Google interrupt me with some thoughts about what might fit with that expression:
No, Google. Not even close.
We, like any other generation or group, are subject to unjust stereotypes based on minority representation. This is unfair to the majority of Millennials who are not lazy, stupid, or narcissistic.
But what worries me most about my generation is something Google doesn’t bring up: the belief in truth.
Millennials are lauded for openness to change, but are we too apt to shift our feet from solid ground? Do we believe that an absolute foundation on which we should build our lives exists? Or is truth simply a disposable accessory that can be exchanged on a whim?
Recently, I relocated to Nashville, Tenn., for a summer internship with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The greatest culture shock I have experienced in moving to the big city is the traffic. It is faster, more crowded and significantly harder to navigate than my small town of Florence, Ala. In keeping with my millennial penchant for impatience, I am often frustrated when stuck in a never-ending line of traffic. The irritation only escalates when I see the free-flowing traffic moving the opposite direction. Several times, I have considered pulling out of the gridlock and going the other way. But each time I face this decision, I remember that the less-trafficked way will not get me where I am going.
I wonder if my generation is too eager to choose the less-trafficked way. The way of truth is rarely easy. It would be comfortable to pull out of the social and political gridlock and choose the free-flowing freeway of neutral relativism. The only problem with sacrificing your biblical beliefs is the sacrifice of your original destination that always comes along for the ride.
Jesus reminded us that “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). It is a promise, not a possibility. In an increasingly post-Christian age, believers will be forced to make a choice: Will we hold fast to the gospel or accommodate the culture? At some point or another, we will be asked to pay the price through job loss, relationship damage or social isolation. Someday, it may even cost us our lives or the lives of the ones we love.
This is the question we, as Millennials, have to ask ourselves: What are we willing to risk for the sake of the gospel?
Thankfully, Google’s description about Millennials isn’t the final say. God is still writing this chapter of our lives. We have the opportunity to selflessly commit to inch toward truth even when it seems easier to put a lead foot down in the other direction.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.