Weekly Devotional: First World Problems

By Josh Sugata

Yellow round pool float in pool with weekly devotional text layered atop image

I always thank my God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way.
(1 Corinthians 4-5)

How are you doing with First World problems?

One of my biggest frustrations recently has been a leaking pool motor that I was able to fix for $18 thanks to a gasket and seal rebuild kit that I purchased on Amazon.

While there are countries that do not have the finances or means to provide safe drinking water for men, women and children, here in America, we play in it. We pay money to go to water parks, get frustrated when we have to walk all the way to our pool shed to grab more chlorine when our floaters are empty and have the luxury to shower or hose off after our time in the sun has concluded.

It seems that our society is getting better and better at taking God’s blessings for granted.

I am not excluded from that statement—I’ve had a number of minor issues that frustrate me, but at the time seem like monumental problems. For instance, now that the pool motor is fixed, I’m getting pretty tired of having to set up the water sprinkler in the front yard since the in-ground system is not working!

Why must green grass be so complicated?

Even in a non-spiritual society, it appears that the majority can often fall from an active status into a complacent lifestyle when it comes to blessings.

The New York Times reported that in 2014, America experienced the worst voter turnout in 72 years!   There are countless men and women around the world who have literally given their lives and fought so that others may have the privilege to have a voice in the form of voting.

Yet, we let Election Day pass as every other day since the poll is not directly en route to our place of work, or the line looks like it might be too long and make us late for our favorite sitcom.

Looking at the bigger picture, I wonder what happens in our lives when, as a society, we move further away from recognizing God’s blessings and take issues such as freedom of religion for granted.

There are many who would argue that this entitlement or complacent way of living may result in less Christians being present in the America, let alone in the world today.

Pastor Tim Griffin and College of Theology Dean Jason Hiles, PhD, recently sat down for Trending Faith to answer the question: Are There Fewer Christians in Today’s World?

This topic has been covered by many news sources. Sadly, some pretty grim statistics exist when it comes to the numbers of individuals within the United States who would identify themselves as Christ followers. However, they do suggest an upward trend for countries outside the U.S.

I could speculate as to the reason for this, or try to blame God’s abundant blessings on America for the complacency of cultural Christians; however, I do not see the benefit in pointing fingers. Instead, I find it more beneficial to self-reflect and ask myself what I can do to prevent myself from being a lukewarm Christ follower so that I can avoid becoming a negative statistic.

Here are some suggestions to taking steps to help further God’s Kingdom where it matters most—with you:

  • Read the Bible each day. Start with an achievable goal, like 5 minutes before bedtime.
  • Talk to God. Prayer does not have to be about anything formal.
  • Get involved with your local church on a weekly basis.
  • Invest time in a small group Bible study.
  • Trust God with your finances.

I challenge you not to think about Christianity in terms of quantitative numbers. I challenge you instead to focus on quality—being a true, active Christian in your community, in your church and in your everyday life.

It is not enough to say that you are Christian, but you must also live out your life according to Scripture and give thanks in His name each day for all of your blessings. As a society, we must give thanks for Jesus Christ, for the Word of God and for each other.

Others in the world, who are also people of faith, may be suffering hardships or not have some of the luxuries we have in America. Even through our own times of hardships, we may look at others as being more blessed than us. But the grass is always greener!

God gives us what we need, even in times of hardship, so that we may grow closer to Him. And we must look around at our lives and realize that many of our “problems” are a result of having the ability to afford luxuries, because God has blessed us.

Wrong Starbucks order? Many around you may not have the luxury to afford a daily coffee, let alone know where they will find their next meal.

Car problems? How many neighbors in your own community can’t afford a car?

So, today, when traffic is backed up on the freeway or your email doesn’t send properly, I challenge you to ask yourself:

How are you doing with First World problems?

Looking for more inspiration? Get caught up on our Weekly Devotionals.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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