Jesus taught in Luke 21:34-36, “Constantly be on your guard so that your hearts may not be loaded down with self indulgence, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, or that day will take you by surprise like a trap. For it will come on all who live on the face of the earth. So be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to take your stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” The problem Jesus is discussing is what some are calling “affluenza” in our time. It used to be called being a “spoiled brat.” Living in a very affluent society far too many eat too much, drink too much, play video games too much, too much of sports, way too many things, etc. People are not learning self discipline, moderation, learning to wait, being patient, doing without at times, and taking responsibility. I think of passages like Phil.4:11-13, “I am not saying this because I am in any need, for I have learned to be content in whatever situation I am in. I know how to be humble, and I know how to prosper. In each and every situation I have learned the secret of being full and of going hungry, of having too much and of having too little. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Or Paul’s words in Acts 24:25, “And as he reasoned about righteousness and self control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” This is such a grave danger living in our country. We can become such spoiled brats and run rough shod over the will of God. God is looking for temperance and moderation in our hearts and lives, so we can put the proper emphasis on spiritual things. Way too often we get weighed down in even the “good and right things” of life. The word can get choked down by the cares, riches and pleasures of this life. May the Lord help us to be vigilant against the spiritual sickness called “Affluenza.”
Dan McKibben

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