This post was first written on the 5th of October 2013. During the next few weeks, I’ll be in the process of moving posts which I consider to be important onto this new blog, adding new ideas and content into those already existing, updated language and overall improving the quality of posts, especially those from the beginning of my time blogging, such as this.
Have you been humbled recently? Looking back over this post, I remember this well. A few days before, I had dropped my phone the night before on the edge of my fan stand, cracking the screen beyond repair. I posted my frustration on Facebook and I was promptly reminded of this.
All it takes is a few words for such an attitude to come tumbling down before the King.
There I was at church, having food, desert and fellowship with some of my youth and young adult family. A notification comes up on my cracked phone screen on the status I made that night, about having dropped my phone and cracking the screen.
The comment was this: “First world problems…”
Here I am, with a comfortable bed, in comfortable clothes, in a nice house, with food in the cupboard, a car in the driveway and money in my bank, a well paying job, the ability to go and study at bible college. And I have the tenacity to complain about a cracked screen on a phone which still works perfectly fine.
I love how God can use 3 words by someone to humble you and bring you lower. I am thankful for that friend and old youth leader that reminded me so powerfully of my affluence.
The realisation that there are millions, if not billions of people in this world, who would love to be in my situation. There are millions without food in the cupboard, and I have the ability to go out on a Friday night and spend $30 on ingredients for salads, food and drinks, for ONE night, when others live on less then $2.50 PER day. What a sobering, humbling thing, to know that I have so much, when others have so little.
We live in such a consumer driven culture, where everything is for us, that we have so little consideration of what goes on outside of Australia, for people who are starving, for those who have no home, for the refugee. It’s obvious to me and should be obvious to any of us that we are ridiculously well off in our westernised, secular Australia.
Every time I look on Facebook, there is always someone making a complaint about something. My challenge for myself is to continually recognise just how ridiculously good we have it and not complain about trivial things which do not matter one bit. I would likewise challenge anyone reading to think on the same.
There are so many ways we can take our focus off of ourselves and onto others and onto God. In the original post, I had noted that one day I would put this into action myself, and now in 2016, I have done more then I ever would have thought possible when I first wrote this. Maybe God is called us to give to charities – one I give to is Exodus Road, doing awesome work in the abolition of slavery. Maybe God’s calling you to sponsor a child – Compassion, World Vision, Transform Cambodia, all awesome organisations which advocate for the wellbeing, education and rights of young people. Maybe God is calling you to mission – going out to the unreached, short term or long term, to see the name of Christ glorified. Or maybe, God is calling you to support missions – financially supporting those who go, part of the home team, partnering for the gospel’s sake for people who have never heard. All ways which we can remove our focus off our self-driven consumerist culture.
The question is, what do we plan to do with the abundance that we have been given? Are you going to store it up like so many people in this world do, where rust and moth destroy, or are you going to store up the treasure in heaven which does not rust or fade away and will last for all eternity? I would love to go out onto the mission field, and since originally writing have been to Nepal, and would love to give myself to serving overseas in mission, and am wholly intending to see where this leads.
I decided that my phone is going to stay cracked for the next few months at least. A visual reminder of a first world problem that in the scheme of things isn’t even a problem at all. Humbled by God and the words of this older brother in Christ.
How easy it is to forget just how good we have it in a world where people are starving and dying of preventable diseases on a daily basis, where Christians are being slaughtered for their faith, and children are being trafficked for sex. This is a valuable reminder for me and for all of us to remember and to not be swayed by things we so often erroneously consider a problem.