We, in the USA at least, are consumerist. In fact, at least at the present and even with our current economic situation, the USA is the largest consumer market in the world. Especially in the developing countries we here receive a great deal of criticism for this and rightfully so. But for now, let’s not look at the consumerist nature of the whole, but instead at us as individuals, as Christians.
Just like a computer, we seem to be programmed to certain things. And in most software there are default settings. In humans, this default appears to be “Me” We are concerned with what we wear, whom we associate with, what we drive, where we live, etc. Now, these things are not unimportant, in and of themselves they are not sinful. They become so when they take the forefront before following Jesus.
We even do this when deciding how, or even IF we are going to worship. We become consumers instead of servants. I have seen this and we’ve had many blogs about this issue here. We select or reject a particular church congregation based on whether we like the music, the building, the clergy. Again, all of these things are important, but do we misplace their importance? We don’t go to church to hear the music, for the ornateness or the austerity of the building or the entertainment value of the sermons. We go, or should go to church for one simple reason, to worship. The question we should address is not “what does the music, etc. do for me?” but “how does the music, etc. glorify God?”
We do the same things far too often in other aspects of our Christian walk. “I give because it makes me feel good or because I can.” “I felt so good serving at that shelter last night.” “I got 214 views on my most recent blog and 14 comments. Wow, I musta done good.”
See the one word common in all of the above… “I”. “I” is another form of “Me”.
We don’t serve our God and the Son for what it can do for us (ME). When we do, we get it exactly backwards. Yet, in some way and at some time we all do it.
Here’s what Paul had to say about this:
|16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:16-26 (KJV)
Fortunately, we are not “hardwired” with this emphasis on “Me”. The setting can be changed. This happens when we are born again, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. As I have written previously, we too often skip over the Lord part and go right to the Savior. When we do that, we’ve slipped back to the default of “Me”. Lord, Master, King of kings… We must always remember these things. In out Walk with Christ, we serve Him first and foremost. This is the road to salvation.
We are human (or we are all sinners). Many who come here are familiar with the nuances of complex programming. We realize that many things can reset our carefully chosen program settings back to the default. I find that here with the version of the Bible I prefer and write to discuss that particular wordage. I forget to check and find that my profile has defaulted back to another version. Then, my carefully crafted blog makes less sense.
Each of us must carefully check these program settings frequently, making sure that the “Me” default is reset and focused on “Him.”
Alive in The Word