Last month, I went to theaters for the first time in a good long while to see the movie Jesus Revolution.
It was more than worth the price of admission. This movie is beautiful. It is unapologetically Christian, but they focused on telling a good story first.
In case you haven’t seen it yet, Jesus Revolution tells the story of the Jesus Movement in the 1960’s. It’s the story of Pastor Chuck Smith who (albeit reluctantly) invited a hippie into a church that was more focused on keeping themselves safe and unspotted. And that invitation sprouted something big. Revival spread through thousands of teens and young adults, including a lonely boy named Greg.
Whether or not you’re a Christian, I think Jesus Revolution is an important movie, especially for my generation.
Jesus Revolution shows just how much young people matter.
The majority of the Jesus Movement was made up of teens and young adults, because the majority of hippies were teens and young adults.
(While I'll be writing mainly to young people, don't tune out if you come from another generation, because this applies to you too. Age is just a number.)
They looked at their world and saw something truly wrong and broken, but they also looked beyond it to the world that they thought they could make. They’d been silenced and overlooked enough. Enough was enough. They were going to do something about it.
But they’d seen enough fighting and lecturing to know they wanted nothing to do with it. So they set out to find the thing they’d been deprived of for so long—love.
I believe that each generation sees things that the others don’t. I believe young people in particular have a unique perspective and gift to see the broken things others may have become comfortable with. To see creative ways to solve those problems. To see what could be.
We’re not so different from the hippies of the sixties. We’ve seen some truly hard and horrible things, sometimes things that others want to deny we’ve seen. And we won’t allow ourselves to be silenced. We have the heart and the fire and the energy that forces us into action. We can’t sit still. We have to do something.
But many of us are done fighting. We’ve seen enough fighting. We’re war-weary, even though we’re young and most people say we have nothing to be weary from. We want to embrace love, but all the things we think are love fall through.
The hippies made some pretty big mistakes in how they tried to pursue peace and love. Very little of what they did would ever be advisable.
But they tried. They were willing to take that risk.
That’s another special thing young people have. We have the energy and the willpower and the courage to try something wildly different, completely out of the blue.
So when someone came along and truly loved them, they could fit all the puzzle pieces together. They found that the love they’d been searching for was found in Jesus. And since they’d found what they were looking for, they couldn’t keep silent.
The Jesus Movement spread because teens kept coming into churches and bringing friends and sharing Christ whenever they could. Because young adults kept coming forward to be baptized. Because teens kept proposing solutions to problems they saw in the church. Because young adults were willing to lead.
God worked crazy mightily because a group of young people wouldn’t stay silent.
The world today largely dismisses young people. You have nothing of importance to say. You’re stupid. You had best sit down, shut up, and let someone else take care of it. Gen Z is treated as a fun joke in TV and film, because what’s funnier than a caricature that only cares about making TikToks and protesting for a cause they don’t even really know what it’s for?
But we’re not a joke. God crafted each one of us uniquely, with a special way of seeing the world, something important to say, and a fire deep inside.
And when young people, especially Christian young people, realize that, incredible things can happen.
We can fight all we want. We can speak all we want. We can try over and over again. But none of it matters unless we work alongside Christ. He guides us all different directions—one to write books, another to a job in their hometown, another to a career in science.
You and Jesus are the two ingredients that might start a fire wherever you are.
It’s believed that about 100,000 people were involved in the Jesus Movement. That’s just the ones who were actively involved, not all the people who were impacted or touched by it.
That is the power of our generation. And it’s just waiting for us to realize it.
We have something that could change the world for the better. We have the most important thing there could ever be, a very real God who loves every one of us. We can’t stay silent. We can’t sit still.
If we stand up and speak, there will be another Jesus Revolution. And another and another on into eternity.
That's not just true for young people, but for every generation living and breathing on this earth right now.
Good morning, everyone! Here I am, finally posting one of two long-neglected guest posts that got lost in the shuffle of work on the anthology. Today Kathryn shares what she has learned about choosing her friends wisely. To read my lessons from an overly dramatic dog (the other half of this swap), hop over to her website: https://thestorycubby.wixsite.com/home/post/lessons-from-an-overly-dramatic-dog-by-rachel-leitch
When I first sat down to write this post, I needed some inspiration to get going. I knew that it was time to write the post, but my brain was not kicking into gear. So I said to her, “Mom, when you are thinking about how to choose your friends wisely, what is the first Bible verse that pops into your mind?”
She repeated my question to herself for a second and then she looked at me with a smile.
“The first thing that comes to mind is: when the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into the ditch.”
Well, since I asked her, I decided I had to use it in the post, but when I think about it, the verse does get down to the root of why to choose your friends wisely.
"And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" (Luke 6:39)
As young people, we often long for people our age to spend time with, and to talk to. We want to be around people that understand us because we are going through the same life stage. But not all young people make for godly influences on our lives, and when we hang out with people who are figuratively blind, without knowing it, we’ll fall into a ditch with them. This is something that I have had to decide on personally, and I believe that it is something every young person has to deal with.
But, the question is, how do we avoid falling into that ditch? How can we be sure we are spending our time with people who will influence us in a godly way?
Here are three ways that you can do that.
Choose your conversation.
Notice that I did not start with choosing your friends. This is because choosing your friends is not the first decision that you need to make.
"Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel." (Philippians 1:27)
The way the Apostle Paul who penned this verse usually uses the word "conversation" to mean our daily walk, which includes the way that we talk with each other.
If Jesus walked up to you while you were talking to your friends, would you feel like you need to change the conversation? Or would you feel like he would be pleased to hear what you were talking about?
We ought to be talking about things that will bring honor to The Lord. This is not to say that we can’t joke around every once in a while, but our jokes ought to be acceptable to Him, and our conversations ought to steer in His direction.
Sometimes it is difficult to know how to bring up Biblical conversation, which is very important to our spiritual growth. One of the things we can do to learn how to have a spiritual conversation is in on the conversations of deep-thinking adults in our church. There are usually some adults who are steadily meditating on the Word, and their conversations are good examples for us to follow.
As you have something you’ve been thinking about, casually bring it up among your friends. If they seem to want to avoid talking about it, then keep that conversation until you find someone who will talk to you about it. In some circumstances, only adults seem to want to talk about spiritual things, but they often make better friends than young people our age. However, adults do not always have the time to spend a long time talking or doing other sorts of relationship-building activities because of their responsibilities. That is one special blessing of being a young person. We have more time on our hands to spend with each other.
Choose your activities.
As young people, we enjoy doing activities like playing board games together or participating in a fun sport. But even then, we need to be mindful of how much time we are spending on frivolous fun versus how much time we spend pursuing our relationship with the Lord.
"Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." (Revelation 2:4)
This was part of a message from Christ to the church of Ephesus because they got so caught up in doing things that they left their First Love. They got so busy with the things that they were doing that they forgot to do them for the Lord.
If you reflected on your activities of the past week or twenty-four hours, how much of that time could you say was spent on your First Love? If you played a sport, why did you play it? Was it to please Him or simply to win a game or have fun?
If you played a board game, what did you talk about while you were playing? Was it honoring Christ?
Before you do any sort of activity ask the Lord to help you do it for His glory. If it is something like having a meal with a friend, ask Him to open up your conversation to things that will please Him. Or if you feel that you ought to be spending more time serving him in some sort of ministry, ask Him to show you opportunities where you can do that. He will be glad to answer that kind of question with a yes if you are open to His help. However, making that kind of choice can be hard if your friends are not willing to make it with you.
Choose your friends.
This is the last point that I wanted to make because it comes as a matter of course after the first two. Deciding to talk about spiritual things, or to spend less time texting with your friends to write cards to shut-ins at your church does not always make you popular.
A negative Biblical example of this would be King Solomon’s son Rehoboam. He had a choice about how he was going to rule, and even before he sought counsel he had decided how he was going to rule. This was evident in his choice of counselors.
"But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him." (1 Kings 12:8)
But there were consequences for the decision that he made. They may not have been immediate because he had to implement his plans before the people realized how faulty they were but eventually, his decision came back to bite him.
"So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day." (1 Kings 12:19)
My point is not that we need to stop taking the advice of people our age. Instead, I want to show that the way you decide to live, will dictate your friends and your friends will dictate the way you live. It’s a vicious cycle if we don’t follow the Lord in our choices.
Spending time around the kind of young people that are old in maturity, especially as God’s children, will help us to continue in the decisions we’ve made about our conversation and our activities. Sometimes it is hard to find young people that are like that. In that case, it might be best to make friends with adults who will support those decisions. But finding the right kind of friend will help not only you but your friend to develop a deeper relationship with Christ.
Choosing friends is one of the ways we can please the Lord. When we decide that our conversation will please Him, and we learn to think about spiritual things we take a step closer to Christ in our relationship with Him. If our time is spent doing things that please Him or participating in activities in a way that honors Him, we are living for our First Love. After we have made our choices about what we will say and do, we will already know what kind of friends we want. By choosing ones that are God-honoring as well we can help each other to keep walking closer to the Lord.
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!