Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Jesus is not buying into the American dream
You know the American dream. Come to America and find freedom. Anyone can grow up to become President. Lift yourself to a better life by working hard. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and become healthy, wealthy, and wise. You are the master of your own destiny. Every generation in your family can have it better than the generation before.
Jesus talks about dying to self, taking up the cross, and following him. Baptism is even described as dying with Jesus. He said that we would have trouble in this world. He said we would be persecuted for his sake. He said the world would hate us because it hates him.
Jesus said ask and he would give. But if we do not receive, it is because we are asking for ourselves. He emphasizes selfless living, never selfish. He talks about his followers as people who are not at home in this world.
The American dream is rooted in some idealistic version of fair play and equality. May the best man (or woman) win. If you have read much American history at all, you will realize how untrue the American dream really is, but many cling to that idealized version of what it is to be an American.
The Jesus way is rooted in the idea that life is not fair. Jesus and the cross. Not fair.
The American dream says you have certain rights. Even claim these rights are from our Creator.
Jesus says to give up our rights to follow him. Give up our rights so we can live in community together as believers.
American dream is to be a self-made man. Independent. Free.
Jesus says real freedom is found in becoming his slave. Surrendering everything to follow him. He is the source of every good thing we have. God gets the glory.
Jesus says life is found in him. Real liberty is found in surrender to him. Happiness is found in being faithful to him.
America says you can find hope, peace, and joy by what you do.
Jesus says you can find hope, peace, and joy by giving up self to follow him. He is the source of life.
If you pursue the American dream, you may be sorely disappointed and left wanting more.
Pursue Jesus and find life. Forever.
God I was raised in America and I know there are things I have because of that. Things the world values. But thank you for parents that taught me where to find the things that are really valuable. Jesus things. I promise to help others find true freedom in your son.