A few days ago I came across a very interesting article which indicated that vanity among college students is rising. Half of me wants to chuckle at how glaringly obvious that is, but half of me is very sad for our nation. In the wake of the self-esteem movement we now have a generation of people who cling to their rights, demand their own way, are reckless in relationships, but think they’re pretty special.
It’s even more sad how this movement has crept into the church. Instead of focusing on dying to ourself, we are focused on loving ourselves. Where we should be yielding our rights, giving up our small ambitions, preferring others, and loving others at a cost to ourselves- we are preaching more self-esteem. Just like the rest of the world.
The article, written from a secular perspective, says we need to stop telling kids they are so special, noting that they are self-centered enough already. Sound familiar? “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…” (Eph. 5:29). Among other things, the article discussed how the current narcissistic culture leads to shallow relationships, infedelity, materialism, superficiality, and attention-seeking. I am glad that even the secular world is starting to see this, and seeing how life-destroying the sin of pride is.
In the article they also call for a return to more authoritative parenting, saying that as parents have allowed their kids to do whatever they want they have been feeding their selfishness. By the end of the article, I myself very grateful that my wisdom and counsel is found in the Word of God, not the fickle trends of psychology and society.
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.