We are living in an age of spiritual consumerism.
A recent study shows that 44 % of Americans have left the faith of their upbringing. The director of the Pew Forum, the group that conducted the study, said, “The American religious economy is like a marketplace—very dynamic, very competitive.”
Consumerism in the religious marketplace has churches trying all sorts of gimmicks to draw worshipers to their assemblies, things like fully-equipped orchestras, Starbucks cafes, and watered down messages that stay away from themes like sin and guilt.
Modern-day Christianity has become sickeningly self-serving. Today’s churches are about comfort, enjoyment, and convenience.
Jesus spoke of peace, not comfort; joy, not enjoyment; commitment, not convenience. It’s time we turn from selfishness. Christianity is not about convenience.
Paul put it this way:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:1-2)
Our lives are to be living sacrifices, the overarching goal of which should be the sovereign will of God. If this is true, why would anybody want to be a Christian? Two reasons:
- A life of convenience is a life of misery. The happiest children are not the ones who are spoiled and overindulged. The happiest children are the ones whose parents teach them the importance of service and responsibility. Christianity is not supposed to make life convenient. Christianity is supposed to make life livable, to make existence bearable, to make death approachable and sensible. Life is going to become inconvenient no matter what we do. Eventually, all of us will get old and sick, or some unexpected event will end life on this earth. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Faith can face this hard truth; convenience can’t.
- A life in service to Christ is fulfilling. We were created for the glory of God (Isa. 43:7). Until we start living according to this purpose, there will be a gaping void in our lives. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man” (Ecc. 12:13, literal rendering).
Christian service will lend a grand purpose to your life. It will make it meaningful. You will add value to others and make their lives better.