Skip to main content

Gen Z and millennials often struggle to maintain long-term careers or relationships. Millennials have earned a reputation as job-hoppers. Unbound by strong attachments to organizations and institutions, they freely transition from one company to another, more so than other generations.

This trend also extends to relationships, as younger generations consistently demonstrate similar patterns. Gen Z, for instance, introduced the term “situationship” to describe their loosely defined, semi-committed relationships that lack the pressures associated with traditional dating. A situationship lands somewhere between a casual hookup and a committed relationship. They constantly question whether their partner is “the one.”

Tinder, an online dating app, identified situation ships as the prominent trend of the year, noting a remarkable 49% increase in the usage of this term on user accounts from January to October. Tinder’s survey of 18- to 25-year-olds revealed that 1 in 10 individuals preferred situationships as a means to develop relationships with less pressure.

Is “Follow Your Heart” to Blame?

The influence of movies, particularly Disney, on the past few generations cannot be denied. The recurring theme of “follow your heart” has been ingrained in our upbringing. As moderns, we have been taught that if we are not pursuing our passions or lack a firm inner conviction, our chosen job, situation, or relationship may not be the right fit.

We think: “Maybe a new job or relationship will make me happier… Maybe I should move to Australia? Or just go on a shopping spree?” But how do we find happiness and fulfillment? Do we just keep trying on new jobs, relationships, houses, and emotions like fashion runway outfits, discarding the failures? 

Empty Glamor

If anyone should be really happy, it should be the rich and famous, right? Yet the spectacle of how often they switch relationships or die from overdoses in some manic race for delight or distraction is undeniable. Just read People magazine. Or, actually… don’t. 

The late billionaire, Jeffry Epstein, did disturbing, unmentionable things to keep himself constantly stimulated just so that he could make it through a single day. 

Is that where we look to find real joy?

In the Christian faith, life is counterintuitive…

Real joy is gained where we don’t think to look. Feelings are not the starting point. 

Jesus gave us a different pattern to follow.  Jesus said: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mathew 16:25).  

Jesus also said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:33) When we are willing to lose our life for Jesus’ sake… that is how we find real life. By contrast, joy flees when we grasp it with a chokehold. 

Life Comes Through Death

God owns all of us, all of our lives. When we radically let go of our life for Jesus’ sake… Then we gain life. This is not some zen, yin-yang action. Nor are we talking about restriction for restriction’s sake. We are created to want things, and wanting something in itself is not bad. God calls us to life—not of deprivation—but of obedience and faithfulness. 


“Joy is the serious business of heaven.”

—C. S. Lewis 


It’s about our whole-life posture. It’s about who we worship. God or ourselves? The Holy One or our emotions? When we worship God at the center of everything, we acknowledge His right over every corner of our life, including our feelings, dreams, and desires. This means that sometimes we enjoy the good things He gives us, and sometimes we let them go. 

Life Abundant

All of it is joy. All of it is life when we put Him at the center. There is joy in the feast, there is joy in the famine. There is joy in doing the dishes when we do not feel like it. There is joy in reading a good novel. There is joy in helping a friend move when you’d rather take in a movie. There is joy in taking in a movie. 

How can this be so? It is because our joy is not truly in these things. The joy is not in the book, the movie, the food, or the money. It is an unmovable, unshakable joy that is not dependent on circumstances. This means if the circumstances change—if we lose houses, money, or dreams—our joy remains steadfast. 

St. Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” When we worship God first, we become free in the truest sense. This doesn’t happen all at once. It is not an easy fix. But it is a worthy endeavor.

For more information about how to find abundant life in Christ, join us for worship Sunday mornings, visit our website for helpful tools and resources, or plug into one of our many ministry opportunities!

Leave a Reply