American Culture Convictions

by rachelshane

I have been convicted of being hypocritical lately.

I believe this is my fourth attempt at writing a post. I tried writing one about how people accidently preach the prosperity gospel. And then I felt convicted about writing that while I drank my $3 iced coffee, which could have fed a couple of starving kids today. I think many of my friends are preaching too much about how God will bless us, when he simply might not by health or wealth on earth. I could get a brain tumor and die tomorrow, or end up homeless in a year. But truth is he has totally blessed me monetarily and in health in this season of my life. And, he is still a God worth giving up everything for if I end up sick, persecuted, or homeless. Actually, if that happened, I would have more in common with Christ, which is kind of what I am going for – he didn’t have a home, and then was killed. The gospel was so that I may have eternal life – not temporary blessings.

Praise God, my trip to Haiti has still been shaping my worldview. I was overwhelmed yesterday when I went shopping to buy new bed sheets. There are so many options. And then I remembered the hundreds of thousands of kids who sleep on cardboard, cement blocks or dirt. I guess I probably don’t need new bed sheets. But then again, I live in America, and this is what we do, we buy bed sheets. No one would tell me I am wrong in buying some new sheets after using the same ones for 12 years. And I ruined my sheets by my $10 dollar hairspray exploding all over them, so I MUST buy new sheets instead of doing everything I can to save those old bed sheets, right? Amazing how spending $30 dollars is such not a huge deal in my life. Over half of the world doesn’t make that much money in a month. Imagine that, really, if getting new bed sheets meant I had to spend 1/12 of my income for the whole year, would I get new bed sheets? No, no I wouldn’t. I would try to save my old ones.

Basically, I don’t want to be judging others so much, because I find myself guilty of the things I point my fingers at. I also don’t want to continually have my life shaped by American culture. I want to have clearer perspective, remembering that I am in the top 95% of richest people in the world. Not so I can be happy, call myself favored or blessed, but so that I can use my God given resources to help others who are not blessed by God monetarily. Those people exist, and are not one ounce less loved or favored by God. And truly, this “blessing” of wealth too often becomes or creates idols, so am I really more “blessed” by having something in my life that causes me to sin more? Nah, I would probably be better off without it.