This piece by Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical team, is a must read! It is a devastating anylysis of the effects our narcissistic culture (consumed by self) is having on our teenagers and young adults. His penetrating summary of what the world is communicating to our young people will awaken you to the reality of the power of sin they are facing in our time. Listen to some of what he says:
A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.
Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30 percent in the last thirty-odd years.
These data are not unexpected. I have been writing a great deal over the past few years about the toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children, adolescents and young adults, particularly as it regards turning them into faux celebrities—the equivalent of lead actors in their own fictionalized life stories.
On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they “like.”
While this psychiatrist (secular?) calls for a plan to combat the worldly philosophy which is killing this generation (literally as well as spiritually), he does not offer one. Yet as Christians we do have the answer to this sinful selfishness which plagues not just our society but my soul and yours: the gospel of grace in Christ.
That is not simplistic or unrealistic. According to the Maker of our souls (and bodies) and the Savior of sinners (as written in His own Word) this is the only prescription. We must be emptied of sinful self and filled with the fullness of Christ. You and I must know and reject our filthy, proud “worthiness”, and then know and receive by faith our true, humble worthiness in Christ. Through the crucified Christ you and I must put to death the self-inflicted darkness and death in our souls, and then through the resurrected Christ find our new life and real living in Him. And through this precious Savior you and I then must no longer live for self, but for Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us. Not consumed with self, but consumed with Christ – that is what we must be.
Shall we not pledge ourselves to believing and practicing this gospel in such a world as this?! And shall we not commit to teaching and preaching this gospel to this generation (our children!) and all those that may follow?! May the Lord show us mercy, and deliver us and our children from this evil age – and from the evil of our own hearts.