“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Matthew 6:21
Ah. The American Dream. A 3,000+ square foot house with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a great room with theatre seating, an attached three-car garage, a pool, a $75,000 truck, a sports car, a boat, two jet skis, and a few more other toys. Whatever the Jones’s have? Yes, please! Make room for the American dream here!
The time has come for Christians to stand up and reject the American dream. It is time for us to put our foot down and say, “Not us. Not now. Our goal is not this life.”
Matthew 6:21 delineates a powerful truth for believers in just 11 simple words. It states that our heart (and priorities) will follow our treasures. Are we storing up heavenly treasures through acts of kindness, generosity, concern, and compassion? Or are we “Keeping up with the Jones’s”? To give us a little more perspective on this, I have compiled the following list of five reasons why every Christian should ditch the American Dream.
1) By spending less time maintaining your collection(s), you will have more time pursuing the calling that God has placed before you. More time allows us to be like Paul when he said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). We Christians need to step up to the plate and put our game face on.
2) Instead of longing for more things, we should appreciate and use the things we have, the blessings that God has already bestowed upon us. As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 2:24, “There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.” In other words, God wants you to work hard but not so hard that you don’t enjoy the fruits of your labor. Enjoying the benefits of our work was a gift from God, one we should not forget.
3) Remember that our time here on earth with the very treasures that we are pursuing is very limited. Life is too short to spend all of your time gaining more. You’re not taking it with you when you go. I am reminded of the man in Luke 12:16-20 who wanted to build bigger barns to better store his produce. God called him out on this foolishness and told him that he would die that very night and someone else would inherit the “bigger, better, more” storehouse he was so anxious to build.
4) Greater peace of mind comes with fewer items. This is because you will not accrue as many debts as friends, neighbors, family members, etc. How do you think the Jones family has a boat, several cars, and a house twice as big as your house when you work the same job? Credit! Remember Proverbs 22:7’s warning, “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” Choose freedom by not choosing debt.
5) Learn to be content with less because ultimately, you already have more. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The Creator of the Universe, the Great Physician, the Savior or all mankind has personally promised to be with you. He knows your needs and He knows the very way to fill those needs. He has promised to walk through your daily life with you and has offered you a glorious eternal home when this life is finished. What more could you possibly ask for?
So I repeat my previous sentiment. It is definitely time to ditch the American Dream and own less! What do you think? What arguments would you add to this list for why you should stop pursuing the American Dream?