I’ve been told that some of my recent posts have been depressing. Not wrong, just sometimes a downer. I’ve tried to vary topics, but we are facing some very serious situations. Not just politically and economically, but I believe spiritually we are in danger of collapse and catastrophe.
There is a great deal of selfishness in our nation. We hail American exceptionalism and innovation. We bask in the convenience and our “way of life.” But how much more do we really need? And at what cost? Greed. The average pay ratio of CEO to worker is 500 to 1, not including bonuses and perks. Other effects include ruthless business practices, wars, hostile takeovers, reckless ventures, the collapse of the housing market, and the threats of war in the void of indigenous resources. This has led to a rise in stress, panic attacks, suicide, soaring divorce rates, crime, drug abuse, and alcoholism. The American Dream has become a Nightmare.
The same selfishness, greed, materialism has infiltrated the church. In a recent blog, I listed shocking statistics on very disparate distributions of church funds. With the prodigious need in our world, this is absolutely unacceptable. “That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served – and then to give away his life in exchange for many” (Mark 10:45).
Denying self. There are so many excuses for not getting involved. I’m busy. I gave in the offering. I need some me time. I need to get my life in order. I’m not ready. I’m scared. BUT, it’s not about us. We might not get any recognition or compensation. Awesome. Thant means God gets the glory!
Don’t take over but serve. It’s not about building our kingdoms, our bank accounts, our own success. While we have needs and God is concerned about them, our focus must to be on others. There will always be someone more desperate than us. In the process of giving to others, God promises to meet our needs.
Lay down our lives. It’s not wrong to be ambitious. Nor is it wrong to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But in the grand scheme, God wants us to be 100% totally available for him. He cares about our jobs and careers. But are we really ready to put all of our concerns, decisions, and dreams at His feet, totally trusting in His Plan?
On Nov 6, the eyes and hopes of millions will be focused on presidential, congressional, and senatorial election results. Let’s fulfill our civic duties and privileges. But, what about us? How are we going to respond to crises and disasters?
Our attention must go beyond our candidates and issues. Christ wants us to be involved. If we’re passionate about causes let’s do something about them instead of belittling those who don’t share our opinions.
There’s a variety of responses that rise up when needs are revealed and we’re asked to serve.
- “Get a JOB.” We tell people to help themselves. How do we respond when we see homeless people asking for money? Cross on other side of the road? Walk faster? Do we pretend to be deep in conversation? Do we have attitudes like “Stop being lazy. Do something with your life?”
- The Northern Abolitionist attitude. This refers to Northerners in the 1800s who demanded that slavery be abolished. After the Civil, while they believed slavery to be inhuman, they didn’t want the freed slaves moving up to Detroit, New York, and Chicago. This attitude communicates “You don’t fit in my world.”
- “I’ll Pray for you”is the classic brush off. Werecognize the need, feel bad, maybe even shed a tear. “God raise someone up…someone else”
Only 5% of American church attenders volunteer. If every North American Christian tithed, we could wipe out global poverty. There is an incredible amount of unmet and untapped potential in American pews. While we expect the government to deliver, What is God calling us to do? If we’re not serving, we’re not following.