We’ve all felt it at some point: A desire to do something big, to change the world.
We get inspired, make some big, idealistic plans, but often, we become disillusioned. We give up and return to our everyday routines.
But true world change is not an event, it’s a lifestyle, and it can’t be done alone.
As much discussion as we’ve heard over our generation, I believe that we can be world changers. Millennials have been called entitled by most and lazy by some, yet none deny we are on the brink of something great.
So let’s prove our doubters wrong. Let’s be each other’s greatest encouragers and be committed to finishing strong. It doesn’t happen overnight but with each individual decision. And while there are many attitudes we should take on to reach our full potential, there are a few we need to shed.
Here are a few things world changers don’t do:
Try to Get Worth From Others
All it takes is 30 seconds on Instagram for someone to be convinced that we must be the most confident generation in history. Opening the app and reversing the camera to take a picture of ourselves has become second nature, along with reopening it 10 minutes later to see how many likes you’ve gotten.
Is this a reflection of a self-obsessed culture or is it proof that we’re actually the least confident, desperately in need of constant affirmation? We constantly place ourselves on display, anxiously awaiting the world’s response, allowing that response to either boost or demolish whatever amount of self-esteem we’ve mustered that day.
It’s time we ask ourselves why. What if every selfie and social media post actually reflected someone that was truly confident and lived from a place of self-worth and empowerment instead of a need for affirmation? More so, what if our actions were an outward sign of inner confidence, simply done without expectation or need?
Focus on What NOT to be Instead of What TO Be
Millennials grew up under the Baby Boomers, a generation determined to succeed and achieve, probably a result of seeing their parents directly affected in the Great Depression. Consequently, many of us viewed their success and longevity in a career as a mundane devotion.
While the decision not to settle for a career you’re not passionate about seems admirable, the problem arises when we, as a generation, strive so hard NOT to become something instead of striving TO become something that we inadvertently become just that: nothing. We don’t know what we want to be, yet we’re confident in what we DON’T want to be. By the time we realize we’ve spent years trying NOT to be something, we’re wondering what in the world happened!
Without a doubt, I believe our generation has the ability to change the world in ways not yet even imagined. However, we’ve created our own hindrance with a unique threshold that we force ourselves to meet instead of allowing ourselves to relax, dream big and go after it with everything we have.
If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor. If you want to own a boutique, do it. If you don’t care, then find a job you enjoy in a comfortable environment and give it 100 percent. Just because I might want something out of the ordinary doesn’t give me the right to judge someone who doesn’t. I mean, someone has to work the jobs in the industries I take advantage of every day, so criticizing them reveals more about my character than theirs.
From marriage statistics to job commitment, it’s no secret that we millennials avoid commitment as if its the plague. We say we’re holding out for the best, but if we’re honest, we’re probably much more controlled by fear than motivated by the desire to find “the one,” whether referring to a spouse or career.
I don’t think you should marry the next man/woman that comes your way, nor do I think you should spend years in a career you dislike. However, there’s a refining and development of character that can only come when we decide to commit ourselves. Because when we’re committed, we don’t leave when things get tough or our pride gets damaged.
What if we coupled our creativity with commitment and when we got a great idea, we decided to stay with it until it actually happened? And what if we made the decision to get married based on what we are going to give rather than what we are going to receive? We have the capability and desire to redefine marriage and create amazing careers. However, it requires putting fear aside, taking a risk and a making decision to commit.
Reject the Church
Look, I’ll be first to admit that there are few places more broken than the Church. So often we start doing something because of God but we quit because of people. For most of us, people are very reason we decide to join a church—and the reason we decide to leave.
We walk into a church and our critical eyes are scoping it all out. Immediately, we start making judgments. We go for a few weeks or maybe a few months then we get offended or bored and that’s it. We leave and decide, “it wasn’t for me.”
If we love Jesus, we must love truth. If we love truth, we must love the Word. If we love the Word, we must love the Church. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a part of the generation who is written about in the history books as the ones in charge when most Americans abandoned the Church.
That being said, what if instead of deciding to join a church based on what we get every Sunday, we decide to join because we believe in its vision and we decide to commit ourselves to pursue that vision along side the other members? What if we decided to no longer treat the Church like a restaurant someone is forcing us to go to—rating each Sunday’s service based on what we receive. What if, instead, we actually decided that this is simply the place we have decided to give?
At the very least, we must create and sustain places for non-believers to come meet Jesus and find their new life. If we start there, the possibilities are endless.
Of everything I write, this is most important. We must never stop, slow down or detour from the pursuit of knowing Jesus, the true Father and Holy Spirit. We are a generation who is desperate for something real and at work. We must channel that into a relentless pursuit of Jesus.
Let’s pursue Him in such a way that we are more familiar with His words than we are our own. Let’s pray for increased hunger. Let’s not base our theology on our experiences, but let’s be so sure of who He is that everything around us is transformed. Let’s not compromise His character to appease our minds and emotions, but instead, let’s stand firm, waiting and acting in expectation and faith. Let’s say, “I’ll pray for you” and actually mean it, and let’s stand with our community until breakthrough happens.
Let’s be committed to see heaven invade earth with the love of Jesus, remaining strong through trial and steadfast in our faith.
Mallory Cruz lives in Atlanta with her husband, Kyle, and new baby girl, Lilian. She's passionate about Jesus, marriage, freedom and culture and spends a lot of time writing for her blog, mallorycruz.com.