Popping children’s bubbles

Published 12:02 am Saturday, July 19, 2014

By Chris Surber

Most Christian kids in America are little different than any other kids in America. The average American kids are spoiled, egocentric, coddled individuals who are of no use to anybody but themselves and their excessively doting parents.

We fan the flames of self-indulgence until the fires of self-adulation consume them. We train them to be self-seeking as we give in to their every whim. We model self-centeredness to them and train them in our ways.

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We rob them of their greatest spiritual potential by insulating them in bubbles of pampering. We need to pop their bubbles. We need to pop their selfish bubbles by leading them to serve someone other than themselves in the name of Jesus with no strings attached.

Instead of making excuses as to why they don’t belong at a homeless shelter serving food or passing out coats, we need to allow them the privilege of locking eyes with the “least of these.” Our kids need to be taken down a notch. They need to learn they aren’t the greatest of these.

Instead of merely teaching them about Jesus in Sunday school and vacation Bible school, we need to give some legs to that teaching. Take them somewhere to put it into practice. Learning without applying reinforces the idea that the knowledge had no value.

Ever wonder why kids leave Jesus when they grow up? It’s because they never had Jesus. All they had was religion. We model prayer without power when we don’t put our prayers into action. We model a Christ without a cross when we are unwilling to risk something for our faith. We teach them that it is better to live in a bubble than taste of the world’s suffering like Jesus did.

We are responsible for shaping the values of our kids, and today most Christians are instilling values similar to those of the world.

The saddest part is that in my experience, most Christian kids want to serve. They welcome the opportunity to go on a mission trip or help a perfect stranger in real need. Our kids are capable of more than life in a bubble.

This generation is more altruistic by nature than older generations. If we tap into their desire to make the world a better place from a distinctly Christ-centered perspective, imagine the impact they could have on the world.

Pop their bubbles! What’s the worst that could happen — that they get authentically radical for Jesus? Perhaps they could move past the hype of Christian youth rallies to loving the unlovely and being the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.

Our children are no exception to the Scriptural command in I Peter 4:10. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (ESV)

Pop their bubbles and be amazed at what God will do in their lives.

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at www.chrissurber.com.