It would be wrong to write a post about society and claim that it is not in the least bit tempting to many Christians. What makes society so tempting though? I will attempt to address that as best as one can in this post. In part 2, we will look at a solution. I hope to offer a better hope than society offers to both believers and unbelievers everywhere.
As one who grew up as an unbeliever turned Christ-follower, I can safely say that I’ve been on both sides of the argument and belief. As an unbeliever I would look at Christians and think “They’re weird & geeky.” However, I would also ask myself ”Why are they always so happy?” “How did they get to be so perfect?” and “What is this thing that they have that I am missing out on?”
As one who is now a believer in the Gospel, I’ve seen countless amounts of fellow Christians look at the unbelieving lifestyle I had and think “It looks so fun!” “Am I missing out on living life happily because I’m stuck at church every Sunday reading my Bible?”
Let me tell you believer, you are wrong. Unbeliever, you are right in assuming that you are missing out on something great. All I can do is invite you to experience that which you have been missing out on. However, this post is addressed to those who are longing for the false joy that society offers.
The Rise Of Materialism:
Youth & young adults in North America have experienced a rise in what is known as “materialism.” Materialism would say “If you pursue wealth and possessions you’ll be happy.” Our society is based around materialism. Men in suits will get together in a board room and create a product, and then someone will create an advertisement for that product. A few months later, someone else will come out with a similar product that happens to be “newer & better.” Their advertisement is meant to make you discontent with your life so that you will get something that you do not necessarily need. They will tell you that if you don’t have the newest and greatest product, your life doesn’t have much value. Society wants to make you think that you are missing out on happiness and fulfillment without the latest product. Eventually this discontentment moves on to other areas of ones life such as family values, and faithfulness in marriage. “If you just have more, have better, have variety, you’ll be successful and happy!”
I want you to see how this is a direct contradiction to the words of Jesus found in Luke 12:15 – “…one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
However, the point of materialism and society are very similar to that of the temptation made in Genesis 3 when Satan makes Eve believe that she & Adam are missing out on joy & that they could be like God. Christians today feel the same way that Eve did in the garden when she felt discontent with what God had given to them (namely, the Garden of Eden & total communion with Him as perfect image bearers of their creator, God).
As a result of our desire for joy outside of God, we tend to try and prove that God does not exist so that we can have a clear conscience about our materialism. C.S. Lewis, author of Mere Christianity explains joy outside of God in a profound way (pages 49-50, Mere Christianity).
“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors [Adam & Eve] was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’ – could set up on their own as if they had created themselves – be their own masters – invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside of God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
The reason why it can never succeed is this, God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
We have now exposed society for what it is. What makes it tempting? It feeds the idea into your heart that you must be discontent with what you have. This is destructive to other areas of your life such as relationships, and moral values. I hate to conclude a post like this, however, I want to direct you to read the second part of this: The Solution. I desire that you read it, for this blog would not be complete without it. It does not end here. There is a better hope for you than this.
– Tyson Bradley
You can read Part 2 Here