By: Jim McCollough, Pastor Holton First Christian Church
April Kansas Messenger
In 2009, the CEOs of the big three American auto makers asked Congress for a $25 billion industry bail-out. Each executive flew from the same city to the same destination in his own private jet. The estimated cost of each flight was $20,000, considerably more than a first-class ticket. Legislators expressed outrage that, as one put it, “you would come off private luxury corporate jets with tin cups in your hands!”
I have long contended that we become so accustomed to our way of life, our perception of reality, that we don’t notice when our actions bring us up short. One of the greatest enemies of gratitude is an entitlement mindset; they just don’t go together. It’s hard to be humble when asking for a billion-dollar bail-out, after showing up in a luxury corporate jet!
Our North American culture is awash in a mindset of entitlement. We live in a rich nation with a mindset that we had it all coming to us. Too often that attitude infects the church as well. Privilege and prerogative and power seldom yield to thankfulness, because thankfulness presupposes humility.
Faithful stewardship reminds God’s people that we came into this world with nothing. The Ash Wednesday liturgy reminds us that we will leave this earth with nothing.
What we do
-with what we have
-while we are here
is the long-standing question. That’s the call to faithful disciples of Jesus.