Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The American Dream

Casting Crowns has a great song called American Dream in which they describe a husband and father who works long hours so that he and his family can have all sorts of toys. At the end of the song, he finally decides it is not worth it and he chooses to spend more time with his family.

I think many of us can relate to this song because we are told by the world to work harder so we can accumulate more stuff. You know, "He who dies with the most toys wins!"

It is so hard in today's society to not be drawn to financial wealth and the neat things it can buy. Trust me, I know this. Prior to becoming a Christ follower, money was my god. I felt that the only way I could find security and peace was in having enough money in the bank or in investments. After all, with money I wouldn't have any worries or stress, right?

As I accumulated money I found that the stress in my life actually increased. That is what put me on a quest to find peace. That road thankfully led me to Christ.

However, though I now know that finances cannot bring me security, I still find myself at times (although pretty rare now) longing for more wealth, for the American dream.

The Barna Group recently did a study on what people perceive to need in order to have an ideal life, or the American dream. The results surprised me. I was expecting to see a lot of "things" listed but instead this is what they found:

There were six specific conditions that at least three-quarters of all adults identified as being very important elements in their ideal life. Those included having good physical health (listed by 85%), living with a high degree of integrity (also 85%), having one marriage partner for life (80%), having a clear purpose for living (77%), having a close relationship with God (75%), and having close, personal friendships (74%).

How refreshing. So what do you need for your ideal life?

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:21


Rick said...

One of my favorites of Casting Crowns songs. Priorities and balance are such a difficult thing to work out in one's life. This song is a helpful reminder of what is truly important though.

Josh KC said...

A book that you might really helpful in relation to the American Dream is Escape to God.

Jim Lange said...

Thanks Rick and Josh!

chaff "4" said...

I love that Casting Crowns song. So many people fall into that trap and forget that all they are working for is just going to stay here when they are gone. Thanks for sharing some great thoughts on your blog.

Jim Lange said...

Thanks for the kind words and thanks for checking in. Have a blessed day!