This culture of “have it now” and instant gratification has negatively impacted Christianity as it has blinded Christians to the call to sacrifice. In the famous words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of his world… When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Sadly, this call has gone unheeded and disrespected by many evangelicals today; instead, Christians today brag about their new home, new job, or new car. Searching through the #blessed category in social media outlets reveals the strong correlation which many make between God’s favor and material possessions, without realizing that the bible states otherwise. Remember the words of Jesus: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God,” (Mark 10:25 NRSV).
Many Christians today are distracted by social media and by the “interconnectedness” which technology brings. They are too busy tweeting about their material blessings while countless children die of poverty every year. The materialism in this present age has undeniably made the world revolve around the individual. In addition, Christians presently consider themselves blessed when they enter into a top-tier college, acquire a dream-job, or attend a renowned Christian rock concert. While God loves his children and certainly tends to their needs, God does not will for Christians to pursue temporal, material endeavors.
Consider the lives of the apostles, who, upon their apostleship, did not pursue great worldly feats. However, they endured civil and religious persecution by various authorities because of their commitment to making a change in the world. If Peter were alive today, would he have spoken of the wrong concept of being blessed? Certainly not, and according to tradition, Peter requested to be crucified upside-down due to his conviction of unworthiness to share the same death as Jesus Christ.
The love of money and possessions is not exclusive to Christianity; however, even Christians are not immune to the trap of greed and covetousness. Nonetheless, the command to the rich, young ruler applies to our lives as well. Besides, we are expected to sell all that we have (or are able) and give it to the poor in order to follow Christ. If we seek to humbly brag about our newest gadgets, feats, or any other material possession or achievement, then we will fail to sacrifice any luxury to help others and instead rot in the pit of our worldly desires.
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WHAT DO YOU THINK SACRIFICE AS A CHRISTIAN AS YOU THRIVE IN THIS “HAVE IT NOW” MENTALITY?