Maybe you’ve noticed.
Over the past several years, a mindset has taken hold.
This mindset is becoming pervasive in our culture. The speed at which it is spreading is breathtaking, but in many ways, it’s as old as humanity.
It is a mindset that says ‘I want…’.
It’s a philosophy which encourages the individual to think about…themselves!
It is, in some ways, nothing new. After all, we all have ‘wants’. There’s nothing inherently wrong with ‘wanting’ something or ‘desiring’ that thing.
Most of the things we want are innocuous. I want nice clothes, I want to be healthier, I want a newer car, a vacation, I want to curl up and read a book, I want a loving relationship….the list could go on and on.
The changes that I’ve noticed in the last several years is that the ‘I want’ thought has begun to be followed up with ‘I deserve’.
In other words, if ‘I want it’, I ‘deserve’ it…and you are wrong if you stand in the way of it.
This turns, very quickly, into ‘I need it’, and if it’s it’s a ‘need’, then society should make it available to me, for free…in the color, style and feel that I want…on my terms. After all, how can an ‘evolved’ society stand in the way of my legitimate ‘need’?
Similarly, if I have a ‘need’ and others decide that they have a similar need…we then have the right to DEMAND it…and to punish those who stand in our way!
I want RESPECT…I deserve your respect…I need it, and I DEMAND it!
If you don’t want to give it, then you must be punished!
What has caused this change? Where has this mindset come from?
In some ways, it’s ancient.
Way back in the beginning, according to Scripture, the first man and first woman were given a choice–to follow God’s will toward an ongoing, beautiful and life-giving relationship with Him, or to follow the serpent’s suggestion to a self-centered, individualistic and short-sighted life ‘wants, needs, and demands’ for our own way.
Genesis 3:6: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”
From that moment, onward, we have had this tendency. No one has to be ‘taught’ to be self-centered–we come by it naturally.
Yet, it’s really only been in the last 10 years or so that our culture has allowed the ‘wants’ to become ‘demands’. What has changed?
Again, we can learn a lot looking back into history.
In the Biblical book of Judges, we read a line a few times: “In those days, Israel had no king; everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
However, lest you take the easy way out and blame ‘our Leaders’, let me remind you…
Proverbs 21:2: “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.”
Proverbs 30:12: “There are those…those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth.”
Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
When we lift ‘My Wants’ to the level of ‘Needs’, then justify it into an ‘I deserve’ outlook, we then move to ‘I Demand’.
That is a bad place to be–for the individual, and a society.
No culture can last long in that mindset…it will lead to its own destruction. It has, throughout history, and it will–very quickly–in our culture.
When we get to the point that our ‘wants’ have justified the killing of over 60 MILLION of our own children; when we become so self-centered that sexual sin–of all kinds–is rampant and now becoming bizarre; when divorce has become commonplace; when parents are irresponsible enough that government–through schools and other places–has to step in and feed, clothe, and otherwise provide basics for children (and the parents now ‘expect’ it to be so), then we have to realize that we’ve become a culture that has lifted ‘self-centeredness’ to the level of an idol. We are all asked to bow down at the ‘altar’ of ‘Wants’. Any challenge of those ‘desires’ is somehow ‘evil’.
Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes…
What is the answer?
Repentance! Turning back to God! Basing life and morality on the true and living Word of God!
Romans 3:23-24: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
If we are Christians, we MUST stand strongly on the Word of God, and to share the good news of Jesus.
IF we are not Christians, but are concerned about the direction of our nation, then we need to turn to God.
You can call that ‘judgmental’ or ‘narrow minded’ if you want; it is still TRUE!
…and it’s the only real hope for our nation.