Are we the “Young, Dumb, and Broke” high-school kids?
Most of us might have loved the 2017 hit’s lit and catchy tune. I danced and reminisced my teen years as I first heard its carefree beat.
I even looked around and saw my younger friends singing the song, like the anthem of this generation. Hey, they were having so much fun.
I heard the song repeatedly after a few days, but I started to cringe and feel uncomfortable. Slowly, the lines of this song broke my heart, hurt my ego, and slapped me on the face. Something’s not right.
Trying to fake a smile, I asked myself: when I was a teen 10 years ago, do I like being a part of the young, dumb, and broke generation?
My sadness continue to deepen as I realized: we have accepted this tagline and planted it in our systems unconsciously even before 2017.
The writer uses the “young, dumb, and broke” tagline as our license to make dumb decisions and spend all our allowances until we get broke.
The writer does not only underestimate the value of money, but also of time. We can spend them on temporary pleasures as long as we haven’t reached adulthood.
As a young adult now, I protest in my mind and reject the lyrics, but somehow concede to the idea that we are truly young, dumb, and broke.
Thus, we can make wise decisions while being dumb and broke at the same time, but we can only accept and reject the definitions of dumb and broke with these standards:
If you are born poor and uneducated, most people say it’s not your fault, but merely consequences brought by injustices in the system.
The worldly approach insists that being dumb and broke are hopeless cases. All this generation can do is to laugh at mistakes, without making efforts to correct and learn from them. Committing the sins of pride and sloth are already fun hobbies for teens.
If you can do nothing about them, why not try enjoying the negative consequences? If you want to change, then be your own miracle.
If we are dumb and broke young (and old) people, what hope do we have?
In reality, being dumb and broke describes our insufficiency. We cannot live and stand on our own, unless we cry in need for a Savior.
Here’s hope that we have: being dumb and broke are consequences of our sinful nature, but Jesus Christ has already defeated sin 2,000 years ago.
The Enemy deceives us to think that our identity is based on our sins (being dumb and broke), but Jesus Christ already conquered what takes us captive.
Hope for the Young, Dumb, and Broke
In fact, Jesus Christ first described Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10) and us as His helpless sheep. By the way, sheep are soft, fluffy, and dumb animals. They don’t know what to do, can’t stand on their own, and this is who we are.
Jesus did not say we are sheep, but we are His sheep. We have an owner, the Good Shepherd. As helpless creatures, all we can do is to listen to His voice and follow Him.
We might be one sheepish generation. We wander around, try to make our way up, and fail often. Once, we live in sin and everything we do is in vain. Because of these circumstances, we end up hating ourselves for being weak as sheep.
However, the beautiful truth starts when we realize our identity does not end in becoming lost sheep, but by being found by our Shepherd.
Gospel for the Young, Dumb, and Broke
We can only be ashamed of being young, dumb, and broke if we don’t have the power of the Gospel to transform our lives.
The world sees the cross as foolishness and weakness, but God uses this to shame worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:27). In reality, we can only boast our weaknesses, because the Gospel proves that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We don’t need to satisfy ourselves with earthly things to look wise and rich, because God provides the wisdom we need, if we ask (James 1:5), and our daily bread, if we seek Him first (Matthew 6:33).
We don’t need to hide our dumb and broke selves, because our Good Shepherd already knows our sins and weaknesses.
When we are in our dumb and broke situation, Jesus Christ sees this as a perfect opportunity to show us that our insufficiency, insignificance, and nothingness push us to desire the most important thing in this life: Him.