“How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation of Failure.”

I got discouraged this week as I read The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff. I have already posted here about it. I will give a simple explanation of very complex events. The authors are writing about what is happening on college campuses, where students are becoming increasingly angry about people’s words. Words are now seen as being violent and not helping people feel safe. Speakers coming to speak are being protested and shouted down. These students feel they need to be protected from ideas that distress them. Anyone that crosses them gets “canceled” on social media and many lose their jobs. I am glad I am getting an understanding of what is going on through this fair-minded and sensible voice of the authors. I fear for the future of America’s ideals and if we can’t be considerate and kind to each other then what will happen to us as a country? If free speech and civil discourse becomes an impossibility then how do we function?

I also felt troubled about my children and grandchildren as I see them struggle and actually had the thought this week that it was time to let them figure everything out and recede a little from their lives. What we are battling with the saturation of media, junk food and over-protected kids,–just to name a few obstacles– feels overwhelming and insurmountable to me.

I came upon one of my favorite BYU devotionals this week that C. Terry Warner gave in January of 1996. It feels especially relevant today. He said:

“Where good and evil are concerned, there’s no such thing as being sidelined or taking time out. Everything we do, everything we say, everything we think and feel makes a difference, especially considering the season of war in which we live. When war is being waged, wasting time becomes malingering. Selfishness counts as hoarding material needed for the battle. A little casual sin collaborates with the enemy. We must, quite literally, take care, for we can overcome Satan and his angels only in the way we overcame them in heaven, by “the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony,” staying true in spite of the cost even “unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).’

And,

“…The Savior seems to say to us: “Come unto me, and I will give you such assurance and hope and strength that you cannot be taken hostage by anyone who seems to do you harm. I will liberate you into love. And then you will no longer give anyone cause to resent or fear you. Instead, they will respond to the love that I have bestowed upon you. By abiding in me, you will do much good, bear much fruit.”’

Reading these through again brought tears to my eyes. Terry Warner is urging and begging us not to give up, to stay in the fight, and by abiding in Christ we “will do much good, bear much fruit.”

I have taken a few of these paragraphs and I am posting them around my house to remind me of Him who directs my life. As I channel His Love, I will know the future is in His Hands and His Peace returns to me. I can’t give up, and I need to keep trying.

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