Ministry Resources

Coffee Stains: Hair!

I come from a generation that appreciates hair. My dad’s generation and my children’s generation don’t seem to have much use for it.The sixties generation sported long locks, afros and ponytails (guys), and long, flower-child hair for the girls. Beards, mustaches, whatever—we just loved hair.My sons and son-in-law, though, seemed slightly averse to hair on top of their heads so they cut it really short and grew goatees. And they couldn’t seem to fathom why my generation likes hair on top of our head.When we were younger, we used to talk about the “generation gap.” I guess this is part of it. When I was a teenager my dad told me to get a hair cut. Now that I’m older my kids tell me to get a hair cut. Voilà, the generation gap.
At this point, it’s not that I’m that crazy about long hair; I’m just glad to still have some. But, I don’t know, it’s just that going to the barber shop is like a low-calorie version of a visit to the dentist. My theory is that you seldom come out of a barber shop looking better than when you went in—unless you were really ugly when you entered.Once the kids and grandkids were all home for Christmas and I badly needed a haircut. Badly. My wife refused to cut it because she said I had waited too long and so my daughter got elected. That would have been all right but the sons and daughters-in-law also gathered around to give advice:“Needs to be a bit shorter … needs to be a bit shorter … needs to be a bit shorter, etc.”

Afterwards they should have called me “Slick” Porter because I could have combed my hair with a washcloth. Actually, I kind of liked it because it was so easy to take care of, but I let it grow back because I figured my friends in France would tease me about it.

Maybe that’s why my generation didn’t like haircuts: your friends always had a good laugh at the state of your head after a visit to the barber.

Hair Generations

Have you ever wonder why one generation thinks one way about something and the next generation feels completely different?

According to one dictionary a “generation” is: “A group of generally contemporaneous individuals regarded as having common cultural or social characteristics and attitudes…”

According to this definition “generation” doesn’t have as much to do with age as it does with ideas held in common. Jesus called one bunch a “generation of vipers.” He also spoke of an “adulterous and sinful generation” (Mark 8:38). Psalms 95:10 talks about the rebellious generation that refused to enter the land that God had promised His people. The Lord was sick of them.

I don’t know how old you have to be to be in one of those generations, but I think I’ll pass, thank you. Here’s the generation I want to be a part of:

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9, NKJV)

And I sure want to be a part of this generation:

“He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah.’’ (Ps. 24:5, 6) This is the generation that’s hungry for God; they want to know Him more and more intimately. You’ll find this generation studying His Word, praying, getting together constantly with others who love Him.

But that’s not all. This generation has discovered that you learn to know the Lord more intimately by serving and obeying Him. So you’ll find them helping shut-ins, working with handicapped children, talking to others about Jesus, and reaching out to the down-and-outers.

They’re teaching kids about the Lord, reaching out to confused teenagers (and unconfused ones, too). They’re showing the guys at work how Jesus really is, simply by living like the Lord.

They know Him in experience because they’ve sought Him and believed His Word. They know Him in service because their faith is expressed in the way they live.

And in this generation you’ll find old grey-headed dudes who need a haircut as well as slick-headed young dudes (and dudettes, who have plenty of hair). You’re not a part of this generation because you were born a certain year.

It’s because you’re born again.

What's Next

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