THE GLORY…AND THE SHAME
The “Builder” Generation: Born 1901-1925.
The “Young Builder” Generation: Born 1926-1946.
From 2003-2013 I had the marvelous privilege of shepherding a congregation with a significant number of folks in their seventies and eighties (and a couple in their nineties!). What a joy – a true privilege.
Allow me to now honor them here with a review of just some of the values that will forever serve as their legacy.
-WORK ETHIC: A sense of entitlement is virtually non-existent in the “Builder Generation.” I’ve never known a “Builder” to shy away from hard work!
-MANNERS: Show me a “Builder” and I’ll show you someone who is polite and respectful of both God and people.
HONESTY: This magnificent character trait is getting harder and harder to find. In fact, that’s what makes “Builders” so vulnerable, and such easy prey for liars. “A man’s word is his bond,” and “A hand shake is as good as a contract,” and “Let your yes be yes and your no, no” are the glory of the “Builder Generation.”
STEWARDSHIP: Most “Builders” are frugile. Show me somebody who paid off their mortgage in thirty years…and I’ll show you a “Builder.”
HUMILITY: I believe it’s a big part of the reason why the United States of America was so blessed with God’s grace (see 1 Peter 5:5).
MORALITY: I encountered one widow that was married for almost sixty years. One day, during casual conversation she revealed that she didn’t even know divorce was legal until she was almost fifty years old! True story!!
Language, dress, patience, sacrifice, and discipline are additional “top notch” values that I have observed and gleaned from this very special generation. In my opinion, it is nothing short of a travesty that many of these values are “dying off” with them.
I have just one word of caution for the “Builder Generation,” just one weakness that I’ve seen. Sadly though, it’s a big one.
SILENCE.* It has been said that,
“Evil flourishes because
good men and women do nothing.”
And it was Dietrich Boenhoffer who declared,
“Silence in the face of evil,
is evil itself.”
Today’s America is, in many ways, a completely different country than it was just fifty years ago – almost unrecognizeable to the “Builder Generation.”
And most of the reasons are very easily explained.
So here’s to the “Builder Generation,” both the glory and the shame.
*Ironically, the “Younger Builders” 1926-1946, are also literally known as the “Silent Generation.”
Evangelizing the Church in the Age of Delusion: