THE AMERICAN SCREAM
(Mark 8:36-37) "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 "Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
The American Dream. It has always been talked about but needs to be redefined. The American Dream used to mean basic success. You know, a house, a car or two, a good job, a vacation now and then, a savings, retirement, and the like. It used to mean a person could work hard and be prosperous and achieve a certain level of prosperity. There would be nothing in the way because we are free as a people to pursue our chosen course in life.
But now the American Dream means greed at all costs. It is unchecked avarice, obsessive self-indulgence, and insatiable materialism. We have the means through overextending ourselves through easy credit and “creative” financing. Whatever we want we can basically obtain. The thrill is in the pursuit but when the desire is obtained it doesn’t satisfy. So now a person has to go for more. Put all your chips on the table. The stakes are high, but you only have one life to live. Go ahead; put it all on the table. You won! Everybody’s patting you on the back. Oh, the smell of success. Drive your shiny new car home to your new penthouse suite. Smoke your cigar and puff it into the faces of the people below because now you are really somebody.
Ahh . . . but you forgot one thing. In exchange for the gold you sold your own soul. You also lost some other things, didn’t you? Maybe your marriage collapsed along the way. Maybe it’s a kid or two that doesn’t talk to you anymore. Remember your loyal friends you didn’t have time for along the way to success? What did you call them? Low-lifes? Unmotivated fools? Did you also sacrifice your health? How about your mind? What medications or intoxicants keep you going now? How is your sleep? Then for you the American Dream has become the American Scream. Is there a way out?
(Isa 55:7) Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
(Mat 6:24) "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Through this you will be delivered from the American Scream where you can lead a simple life and be rich toward God (Luke 12:15-21). Keep it lean. Take your excess and give to the needy around you. Be rich in good works and then rest good at night knowing a person can never buy the peace of mind you now possess. (Mat 6:19-34; Mat 19:16-26; 1 Tim 6:6-11, 18-19)