The Weakness of The American Dream
As Americans, we have all been brought up in the environment of what we call “The American Dream.” The idea of the American Dream is that we can do anything we want. America offers opportunities that other economies do not offer. Upward mobility is possible for those who want to work and go after it. There are many things about The American Dream that are very good. It is good that people have opportunities to change their life for the better with some hard work, opportunity, and ingenuity. However, the negative side of The American Dream is that it has produced a consumer mentality. The American mind tends to operate out of the belief that if we want something, we just need to go after it. This mindset has made us focused on what we want and need and we spend most of our energy trying to fulfill our own needs and desires. But God offers a backward economy. And that brings us to the Verse of the Day:
11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
The Way of Love
In God’s backward economy, He calls us to focus on the needs of others above our own. It is the way of love. Love is always looking for ways to show love and value to others. Love does what is best for others, not what is best for self. Jesus here is teaching about God’s way and in God’s economy, the greatest will be a servant. Jesus lived this out when he washed the disciples’ feet. This was a task for the lowliest servants, but Jesus did it, then called the disciples to do the same. It was not specifically about washing people’s feet, but having a mindset directed by humility and servanthood. Let me give you the rest of this passage:
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
God honors those who live to serve others.
When we give up our agendas to live for God, He rewards this. Rather than going after what we want and desire, we help others and meet their needs. Then, the Lord rewards this by giving to us more than what we could achieve on our own. It is the prosperity of God.
When we go after what we want in life more than being a servant to others, we may find earthly success in one area or two in our life. But when we are servants, God’s prosperity will penetrate into every area of our life. Living for self will bring success in one area to the detriment of other areas of our life. Living as a servant prompts the Lord to prosper us entirely.
It’s All About God’s Covenant
This all goes back to God’s promise to us. We use the word covenant to represent a conditional promise. God’s covenant with Abraham, of which we are still in, promised to Abraham that if He would live for God, God would bless him and make him a blessing. He went on to say that all peoples on earth would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3). God’s intention is that when we live as servants, He blesses us to overflowing and the overflow becomes a blessing to those around us. He wants to overflow us with joy, with love, with peace, with money, with forgiveness, with strength, with power. But to live in God’s overflow, our main priority must be to serve others and give away what God has given to us. When we live to serve others, we activate God’s covenant to bless us.
Now, don’t think you can fool God and become a servant with the motive of getting God to give you everything you want. God cannot be fooled. The Verse of the Day is in the context of Jesus talking about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They acted like they wanted to be servants to others and servants to God, but in the end, their motives were wrong. This allowed pride to seep in. Then, in their pride, they did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
We have to stop living for self and live to serve others for Christ
To live in God’s backward economy, we have to stop worrying about getting everything we want. And we have to trust the Lord to give us everything we need. He did promise that don’t you know (Philippians 4:19). And He does not break His promises (Hebrews 6:18). We have to trust that if we live as servants to others as our priority, which is our part of the covenant-being a blessing, then God will honor His part of the covenant to bless us and make our name great.
What do you think about this backward economy of God?
What can you do today to set your mind not on the American Dream, but the Way of Love?
I hope these are helpful to your spiritual growth. Please let me know if you have questions or thoughts about anything.
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Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.