One word that is often used today when describing millennials is "authenticity." As Colby Jubenville put it, "To millennials, you don't have to be amazing. But you do have to be authentic."
And so it shouldn't surprise us to learn that millennials are thrilled when they discover an authentic relationship with Christ. After all, who better to "be real" with than Jesus? And who knows more about authenticity than the One who created man to be real with his Creator and with his fellow man.
God wrote the book on authenticity. He knows what makes us tick, and He knows how to help us express the deepest thoughts of our heart. To put it simply, God is the real deal.
Our problem as human beings is that we lost our ability to freely communicate with God when we sinned against Him. It separated us from our Creator, and it took the death of God's Son in order to give us a path back to enjoying an authentic relationship with God.
Once the Holy Spirit comes to live within a believer through faith in Christ, you are given a miraculous ability to be real with God. A relationship with the Lord frees you up to be yourself and to go further with God than you ever dreamed possible. Your life now becomes centered on your relationship with the Lord, rather than on all the other pursuits that previously controlled your thinking and your decision-making.
It's not that you lose interest in everything else, but it's that God now factors into everything. And I mean everything. Such is the life of discipleship, and the life of anyone who has an authentic relationship with the Lord.
A person who values authenticity can really appreciate how easy it is to talk to the Lord. There is nothing easier in all the world if you truly desire to "keep it real" with your Creator. God has no problem keeping it real. In fact, He invented the idea.
Interestingly, the people who upset Jesus in the New Testament were not the prostitutes and tax collectors. It was the religious leaders who strutted around all high and mighty, but who knew nothing about an authentic relationship with God.
Jesus was speaking to these folks when He said, "You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." (Matt. 15:8,9)
You see, long before millennials ever started getting turned off to hypocrisy, the Lord of glory was disgusted by it and wanted nothing to do with it. Jesus can't stand fake religion and fake relationships. And so from that standpoint, millennials already have something in common with Jesus.
Now all that is needed is for individual millennials to step out in faith and see how easy it is to trust Jesus, talk to Jesus, and even pour out your heart to Jesus. And you can be confident that Christ loves you unconditionally, and that He will meet you at the point of authentic repentance, faith, and humility.
Jesus is always willing to engage with people who are willing to be real with Him. And if you get real with the Lord, you begin to get real about the fact that even though you are sinful, God still loves you. This provides incredible motivation to talk to God everyday because you know He has your back. Followers of Christ are not perfect, but we are forgiven. And millennials need God's forgiveness just as much as everyone else.
Perhaps millennials even have an inside track in a way, as a result of their passion for authenticity. It all depends upon what you do with the truth of God's love for you. It is this unconditional love that prompts people to enter an authentic relationship with the One who suffered and died on the cross to pay for our sins.
When you discover Christ, you discover the ultimate answer to life. And this relationship overflows with authenticity as believers engage in open and honest communication with the Lord.
Does this sound like something you are interested in pursuing? If so, you can go ahead and talk to Jesus about it right now. You don't see Him, but He certainly sees you.
And so think carefully about where you want to go from this point forward.
Later today, will you be following Jesus, or staying behind out of fear, doubt, unbelief, or whatever? The choice is yours. God won't force you to be authentic with Him. That's a decision you get to make for yourself.
But please remember. The only people who are not thrilled with Christ are those who do not have a close friendship with the Lord. Jesus is definitely the real deal. After all, who else has that kind of power, love, and authenticity?
This could be your day to finally get real with God. Don't let it slip away without making contact with your Creator, as you begin the process of Christian discipleship.
It's a journey that will take you to paradise one day. And in the meantime, oh what a friend you will have in Jesus!