13
Feb
15

The Shifting American Dream

I believe that the American dream has shifted.  I think that it used to be something along the lines of working a good job, owning a home, raising a family and doing a little bit better than your parents’ generation.  Now, the American dream is to get rich (and famous wouldn’t hurt, either) with little effort.  This desire for “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” has led to the ruin of many people.  Paul told Timothy that we shouldn’t be surprised by these developments.

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. ​- 1 Timothy 6:9 (NIV)​

Then he says:

 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. – 1 Timothy 6:10a (NIV)

Think of the kinds of evil that greed contributes to:
  • The CEO who embezzles millions and millions of dollars from his company and shareholders.
  • Burglary, robbery, theft and even murder.  If I can’t afford it, I’ll steal it or even kill for it.
  • People who gamble away paycheck after paycheck in an attempt to strike it rich and roll the dice all the way to poverty.
  • Mounting debt as people buy stuff that they cannot afford.
  • Class warfare and jealousy as the have nots battle with the haves over taxes and wages.
  • Stress, worry and anxiety over our finances that drive us to an early grave.
  • Corporate greed that leaves workers scraping the bottom of the barrel as the wealthy cater more to Wall Street than to fair wages.
  • Preachers and pastors living high on the hog as they beg for more.
  • People walking away from their faith as they worship the idols of fame and fortune.

These are but a few of the problems created by greed and the love of money.  Paul, in Philippians 4:13 (NLT) gives us the secret to contentment:

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

That verse isn’t about climbing mountains or overcoming obstacles.  It is about being content in any and every situation.  Paul tells Timothy that “if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” (verse 8).  Jesus told us to pray for “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, NIV).  The question for us is can we pray that prayer and mean it?  Can we ask God for the food and needs we have for today and be satisfied with that?  Or do we need the newer and shinier and better all the time?  Pray today and ask God to help you be content with what He has provided today and trust Him to provide again tomorrow.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
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