Why do we choose what we choose?
Are we following a pattern established as we were growing up, doing what our parents modeled, or what they taught us to do? Do our choices reflect the influence of another significant adult, a teacher or a pastor or a youth leader?
Have we been, or are we still — whether adolescent or adult — influenced by our peers in what we choose? Or by the media? Or by public figures?
Do our choices reflect our spiritual growth, through our Bible reading or through preaching or teaching at our church? Are our choices based on the teachings of Scripture?
Or do they reflect our desire for independence — for the “right” to do whatever we want? The internationally celebrated philosopher Charles Taylor sees “choice” as the only value remaining in our society: “bare choice as a prime value, irrespective of what it is a choice between, or in what domain.” For Taylor, as for many others, our society is a society of “expressive individualism, the understanding that each one of us has his/her own way of realizing our humanity, and that it is important to find and live out one’s own.” (Taylor, A Secular Age) We have seen this played out most recently in the transgender movement.
Or … are our choices not conscious choices at all? Are we so immersed in our culture that although we assume that we are living according to a Christian world view we are actually not? Have we, unconsciously, without our realizing it, been formed by our culture? Have we allowed ourselves to become just like our peers, doing what others do, without thinking about it one way or the other?
Something to reflect on, and to discuss with your teens.
To be continued …