It seems that America’s being labeled a Christian nation has often led us to believe that prosperity and Christianity go hand in hand. However, Christ never promised prosperity as a by-product of following him; at least not financial prosperity.
While we can certainly prosper financially and honor God, it is quite easy as Pat Morely points out to fall into the trap of the deceptive values of personal peace and affluence.
How have you had to fight against these values? What can a man do to change this and save his marriage and his children from falling into the cycle that demands we wear ourselves out chasing after peace?
If you find yourself stuck, reach out. First Step – involve your your spouse in the chapter.
Man In The Mirror is a book by Patrick Morley. Follow along with Pastor Gabe Moore and the men of Calvary Assembly of God in Crystal Lake, IL as we read through this book together and discuss some of topics facing men today.
To fight the culture’s personal peace and affluence idols, I have had to be very intentional about making choices that go against the cultural grain and against the grain of my flesh, and the Bible helps me to understand what going against the grain is. As just a couple of examples (and I’m not suggesting everyone should do exactly as I do), I have very intentionally chosen not to spend money on cable and have done without a second car for about five years. I simply decided to skip those things as part of avoiding the affluence trap. As a “recovering shy person,” I intentionally choose to move out of my comfort zone to avoid the personal peace trap. Thus, you can think about practical ways to move away from the cultural undertow and implement them one by one. Certainly, I haven’t arrived, but we and others have benefited from these changes. When you model the behavior for your family, then they can learn the same behavior.
Reading through the chapter, I realized that I struggle with both of the deceptive values discussed. And while I can look back and see a sort of pendulum effect of bouncing back and forth between them, I don’t feel like Affluence has held the kind of conscious sway for me that Personal Peace does. As an introvert, it seems to be much easier for me to reach an extreme on that side.
As with most other character flaws, the times when I struggle tend to happen fewer and farther between as the quiet times get closer together. The more time I’m spending with God, the easier it is to do things his way instead of my own. Which is another reason that going through a book like this, joining the accountability and participating in the conversation with other men, is so important.