How does the “American dream” help those in need?

How does the “American dream” help those in need?

Luke 16:11

“If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?

The Deceitfulness of Riches

Most Americans are richer than roughly 90% of the world. There is something intoxicating about money; it’s almost like having an addiction. The more you get, the more you need. In the Parable of the Sower, the one who heard the word (the seed) had it chocked out by the riches and cares of this life (Luke 8:14), and there was no fruit that ever matured. There was no fruit because there was no root. That is, their care for money was greater than their care for God and they lost the seed of the Word and will be lost in the end (unless they repent). That doesn’t mean they might not later come to saving faith in Christ. But someone who is constantly pursuing money at all costs runs into all kinds of temptation, and it usually ends in ruin or destruction (2 Pet. 2:3), at least it will at death, when they will be judged (Rev. 20:12-15). That’s why we need to keep free from the love of money and pursue loving God (Heb. 13:5).

Faithful in Little

When Jesus told the gathered crowd that whoever it is that is faithful in little will also be faithful in much, but He also qualified that by saying if someone’s dishonest in the little things, then they’ll likely be dishonest in the big things (Luke 16:10). Haven’t most American’s been entrusted with much? That’s a rhetorical question really because the obvious answer is yes, we have; at least I know I have. So what am I going to do with the “big things” in my life? How can I best help those in need? It’s not just handing out money because that’s a pretty unwise thing to do, as I might be enabling a drug addict, an alcoholic, or someone who just doesn’t want to work for a living. I must remember the “little things,” too. A simple little act like giving a cup of water to someone who’s thirsty, which is done for Jesus’ sake, will not go unrewarded (Mark 9:41). We may not feel like we’re able to do big things, so why not do a lot of little things?

Who or What Are You Serving?

It’s not just hard to serve two masters–it’s impossible. Jesus said we can serve either one (money) or the other (God) but not both (Luke 16:13). We will love one and hate the other or hate one and love the other, but we can’t possibly love both. Money is its own God in the sense that it can provide for our needs, it can make us comfortable, and it can solve certain problems. So it’s easy to see why so many basically worship money and pursue it. Would they not be better off pursuing God and worshiping Him? One is temporary and will be useless in the kingdom (money, that is), but God gives us what we could never buy with money, which is eternal life in Christ and eternal joy in His presence.

A Closing Prayer

God, please forgive me when I pursue money and the “American dream” more than pursuing You and eternal life in Christ. I still have to kill the idols in my heart, so help me overcome this “false god” of money by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray.


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