American Dream Christianity

American’s live in abundance. Our American Christianity is filled with abundance as well, but not spiritual abundance necessarily.

Our abundance has to do with opportunity. Having an abundance of opportunity often leads to little being accomplished. We have so many choices we are either paralyzed into doing nothing or dabble in all and give the appearance of doing much, but in the end accomplishing little.

We’re inundated with goal-setting sermons about redeeming the time and we’ve come to think that the only good Christian is the busy Christian, the frantic and everywhere all the time smiling for Jesus superman.

This is not healthy nor biblical. Yet today I read a Christian telling people to do more, invent things to do. He knows a guy who is a doctor, a dad, a blogger and still makes frequent trips to Kenya. Great. Wonderful. More power to him.

This is not normal. Christianity is more about patient continuance in well-doing than it is in endeavoring to find splashy event after splashy event. Rather than making splashes for Jesus, I think we’re to steadily raise the tide to lift all boats. One is more fun than the other because one involves repetitive, unnoticed, unappreciated work.

Also, talking as if Christians who don’t regularly visit Kenya have something wrong with them is drastically unfair to the poor. Much of our go-get-em Christian rah-rah sessions are completely oblivious to the handicapped, the poor, the elderly and many other groups that are regularly ostracized in our successful American churches. Sure, we go on missions trips all over the universe to help them, but do they come to our churches? Maybe if we did this right we wouldn’t have to travel so far to find them.

Be careful not to distract yourself into leaving off your actual responsibilities. Be content in what state you are in. Learn to plod along with the daily chipping away that makes a difference. We have enough people out trying to “change the world” and “be all they can be.”

We need more people who are willing to faithfully carry out the love of Christ daily in non-flashy, boring, repetitive ways that keep the light shining long enough for the unobservant to notice.

One thought on “American Dream Christianity”

  1. Well stated.

    The crux of the issue is that God has a different way of valuing work than we do.

    With God, the value of the work is in proportion to the amount of divine love that is in the service, or how free it is of self-seeking. It has nothing to do with how flashy it is, or how many copies of a book were sold, nor how much money we raised, and so on.

    Hence the Bible is filled with stories of common people (Moses, Joseph, Elisha, Daniel) who were taught to put self aside and do the small things faithfully; eventually they were enabled to do greater things, but only because the foundation had been laid properly.

    Jesus is the cornerstone, whom most of the builders reject. His early life was so humble that God did not even record much of it in the New Testament.

    I’m also reminded of the parable of Matt. 25, about the sheep and the goats. The goats are like the ones in Matt. 7, who have “in thy name done many wonderful works” but Jesus did not know them because they did not take care of the “least of these my brethren.” The humble work was not so appealing to them, so they passed their Savior by.

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