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Moaning about our first world problems is not Biblical. The book of Philippians gives us an example of what our attitude should be like:
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)We definitely need to learn to be content when well fed and living in plenty. If we can't do that then how can we be content if we were to find ourselves hungry or in poverty? It also is crucially important we are content in plenty when there are people that are genuinely struggling. Not only is it unjust that we have plenty while others do not, but to complain in the face of it is selfish and cruel.
I'd just like to add that while someone may have material wealth, they may not have spiritual or emotional wealth, and therefore may be in true need as well. Mother Teresa once said, "The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted." There may be someone next door to you that appears to have everything except the feeling of acceptance. They, too, are in poverty.
As Christians, I feel that, not only should we not moan when we do have everything, we should seek to meet the poverty in the lives of other people. Micah 6:8 says, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Whether this is the sharing of our material wealth, or being hospitable and loving, it is a way of showing what God is about. God actually tells us to stop with our religious assemblies and the noise of our songs if we can't get this right:
I hate, I despise your religious festivals;So, next time you roll up at a religious assembly and sing your songs, perhaps ask yourself, "Am I doing my bit to let justice roll on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream?"
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:21-24)
- What first world problems have you heard? (My favourite one from this website is “I don’t have enough chips for my dip, but if I open another packet of chips, I won’t have enough dip for my chips.”)
- Do you complain too much?
- What seemingly trivial situations really get you riled?
- What websites or resources do you know that could help us in being just, merciful and humble?