For too long the Western church has rested on its laurels and has become fat and lazy. I am not speaking to those too few exceptions to the rule. I am speaking to the vast majority of American Christians who are content to go to church on Sunday and live the rest of their lives in pursuit of the American dream. We have bought into the lie that material success is proof of God’s blessing on our lives.
God never promised wealth to those who loved Him. This teaching goes beyond the so-called “health and wealth” theology, and has in fact become embedded in the church at large.
It certainly is more comfortable to believe God wants us to be happy, healthy and wealthy. This belief allows us to pursue material dreams as a top priority in life. In fact, if you are amassing wealth while not sharing it with those in need, you are living a life in contradiction to the teachings of scripture (Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9, Mark 10:21). Jesus made it clear that if we followed Him we would be persecuted, despised by our own families and may not even have a place to call home (Matthew 24:9, Matthew 10:21-22, Matthew 8:20). This is in sharp contrast to the way most Christians live today.
The problem is our expectations have been incorrectly set over the past several decades. We have been taught what it means to be a Christian in terms that more closely resembles what it means to live the American Dream. I have been in churches where there is almost an elitist attitude toward non-believers. How will we answer the Holy God when He asks what we have done with our lives for His purpose? He won’t care what title you achieved in your career nor will He be interested in the square footage of your home. God’s desire is that all people might come to know Him, and our primary concern is on our own health and comfort. It is no wonder that nearly half the population of our world has never heard of the love of our Savior.
Nothing will change until we change. Additional souls will not come to Christ unless we tell them about Him. This situation will not correct itself. Our mission is to go and tell all nations about Jesus. We are commanded to care for the poor, the sick, the orphans and widows. This is the charge we have been given and we have not run with it. If we are living for any purpose other than to reflect the love of God to everyone around us, then we are living a life that may be called “Christian”, but it can never be accepted as one in which we have chosen to follow Christ. The choice is ours; we can continue living our Americanized version of Christianity or we can repent and begin living a life that is wholly devoted to following in the footsteps of Jesus.
We will all answer for our lives one day; no one will get a pass on that. It is irrelevant to consider how much time has already been wasted; all that matters is what you do with your life beginning this moment. I have talked extensively on this site about seizing “divine moments”. This is one of those times. Will you grasp the opportunity before you and courageously change your life? It’s time to put aside our comfort and focus the rest of our lives on being the church that God has created us to be.
Question: In what ways have you allowed the American Dream to creep into your walk with Christ? You can share your comments below.