In the world but not of it

February 12, 2010

American dream…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Philippians 3:7

When James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “American dream” it had a much different meaning than what it has today. It spoke of the equal opportunity for each person to experience the best education possible and to be in an environment that would afford them the greatest privilege to achieve their goals. It was a statement founded on the same value principles that the country was founded on.

Today we associate this phrase with material gain and wealth. The American dream today is all about your bank account and your “stuff” regardless of how poor your neighbor is. In the 1960’s as immigrants continued to flood the US there was a story my father had heard which motivated him and others to come to America.

The story was about a man who had heard that America was the land of opportunity where money grew on trees.

This man quickly made plans to come to America. Upon docking at the pier he rushed off the ship to make his way to his new homeland. He had only gone a few steps when he looked down and saw a wallet. He picked it up and saw that it was full of cash. In haste he said to himself “look, the money is so abundant here it is even on the street left to be picked up”. He then threw the wallet full of money into the ocean believing it would be available to him just around the next corner. He died a poor man.

We place so much emphasis and value on things that were never meant to be as valuable as we make them.

What is really more valuable than knowing Christ and living our lives for Him completely? God is not asking us to not enjoy the blessings we have or to never again spend a dime on something we may desire. He is asking us to stop having Him compete with the artificial and material items in our lives that we compare to Him.

In Paul’s words “But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me”.

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