We’ve all heard the expression, “First World Problems”. It’s a sarcastic approach to mask the fact that our problems are, for the most part, trivial. We, in the Western World have come to terms with our greed, selfishness and excess so much that we have resorted to a sarcastic saying to both make light of our situation (maybe get it off our minds) while doing nothing about the real problems in the world.
As I sat in a prayer meeting my mind was lead to the idea that Christians have the same problem. We’ve come so used to our perfect facades that we start making small issues problems because it’s easier than dealing with big issues, the issues that Christ has called us to deal with. Issues like helping the homeless, the widow, the sick and the needy. I’ve sat in sermons where the pastor admonishes tattoos, social drinking, “secular” music and certain clothing because we need to be different then the world. Though I understand some things are not conducive to being a great witness (I’m liberal though so it’s probably not the same things the pastor thought aren’t) I can’t help but wonder if we really are that different.
The problem is we have it too good. Both in our world and in church so instead of seeing the real issues outside of our worlds, we nit pick the trivial problems in our world. We’ve chosen tattoos, alcohol, books, music, movies, dances, hats in church, personal styles as “First Church Problems”, all while missing out on the real needs of the people in our church and outside it.
There are broken people out there that don’t know where to turn. Their stress is so palpable that suicide is the easiest way to escape. Marriages are breaking up. Children and adults are dying from addiction, yet most people in church would notice a guy wearing a hat in the church building and consider that a more pressing issue. “First Church Problems”.
Christ has called us to an undeniable love of others. Paul says in Philippians 1:9 that his prayer is that our love will flourish and that we will not only love much, but WELL! He goes on to say that we need to use our head and test our feelings so that our love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. We are to live a Lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, MAKING JESUS CHRIST ATTRACTIVE TO ALL, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
I wonder if our First World Problems have crept into the community of believers? Do we really think our issues are greater than what Christ has asked us to do?
Next time you find yourself grumbling or offended (I have still yet to find a verse that says we as Christians can be offended personally), check yourself. Don’t let the selfishness and greed of our culture distract you from your call. Let people be people, let people in your church be themselves and love them while they are doing that..Maybe then we will actually have something that is a witness to our great God!
P.S. Here’s an interesting article on Christians and the World I found by Gary DeLashmutt. http://www.xenos.org/teachings/?teaching=485