Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The newly engaged Jared and Whitney (yes, he just took a shower so his hair is a little wet...I hope).
How should we measure the difference between what we want, what we get, and what we deserve?
Many find their happiness dissipating in the chasms between these monolithic ideals.
We do not live a culture that allows us to have a proper view of these things. Money is highly valued and so is what it can buy. We tend to be propelled forward by desires that seem to incubate overnight and carry little critical thought as to their actual necessity.
Our capitalistic society has done very well with the whole marketing corresponds to sales, and supply vs demand availability. We see something on tv and we want it...especially if it we can find a niche in our lives that matches up to the professed attributes.
Seldom does this take into account wants vs needs. There is little we need, but much that we want and pursue. Happiness is falsely tied to gain. Gain does not bring happiness. Happiness is borne from the realization that we have received what we did not deserve. It is tied more to the philosophical than the physical.
Recently, a South American pastor was in the states, and as he traveled the cities here, he relayed that the homes he was seeing were what he had always expected our heavenly dwellings to look like.
What are we 'expecting' in our lives?
Is it any wonder that in our culture we have little real understanding for what those in other countries are going through? This is a critical point in understanding what happens in the heart of Americans who serve in missions and see how little is actually required to survive. At the very least, one returns with a different definition of wealth.
Our children (and even we) suffer not from lack of needs being met, but from an attitude of entitlement. We believe we should have "bigger and better" because those around us do. This view of life runs rampant in the USA. We are a very blessed nation and we consume the largest portion of the worlds resources. We do very little with our wealth that contributes to the improved lives of others. We tend to be very self-centered and selfish.
Unfortunately, this attitude has also penetrated our churches.
Some of the most precious worship I have experienced has happened on splinter infested benches with dirt floor chasers. Sometimes there was even a roof.
We would never settle for anything close to that, as we expect and can afford to do so much more.
My intent today is to point out the obvious. We are heading into a time of year that might be better termed as 'tis the season to get what's due me!' As we fill out Christmas lists that contain a laundry list of large expensive items, we need to take a second look at the inequity that may exist between what we are asking for and what we are giving.
What do we want? MORE!
What do we get? Closer to what we want than we deserve.
What do we deserve? Eternal separation from the Lord God.
What do we need? Jesus plus nothing.


At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, your post today reminds me of a story I heard about Christian singer Scott Wesley Brown being in the (old) Eastern Block of Europe in a poor village visiting underground Christians.

One day on his visit he was suprised to hear one of these (worldly) poor believers talking about how difficult Western (wealthy) Christians had it in terms of walking with Christ.

When he asked the villager what they meant they explained that it is easy to depend on Christ's provision when you have nothing, but it would be very difficult to do so when one had the distractions of affluence.

This isn't to say that the poor have it easy in life, quite the contrary, yet there is a very big truth in the words of this poor villager -and yourself- in terms of keeping our focus on Christ and depending on Him.


At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more...God Bless
Greenfield, Indiana

At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ring is beautiful brent, and the post is just as awesome. Thanks for your words of wisdom!
Love ya Dad!

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saying congrates to Whitney (that makes three engagements in one week in my small world. Wow...praise God)


At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Whitney. My cousin was engaged but then he broke up with her. Anyway, Congratulations! I hope you two have a wonderful Marriage. Gosd will be with you when you are having troubles.


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