Hey Church, The “American Dream” Isn’t The Enemy
I’ll never forget it.
My wife and I were on our honeymoon in St. Lucia, specifically on an all day boat tour of the small island.
We had just finished eating lunch and the tour guide was showing us his hometown. It was just a small fishing village, but still considered one of the biggest cities on the island.
As the tour guide described the city, my mind started to wonder – until he said this…
“You guys will love this place. It’s really nice and clean.”
Was he talking about the same village?
The one we were walking through?
Because it definitely wasn’t clean.
In fact, it was worse than almost any place you’ll find in America. A “clean” village to him, was worse than our “bad areas”.
That’s why I’m writing this article.
Because lately I’ve heard way too many people bash the “American Dream”. As if it’s something we shouldn’t celebrate.
After all, it’s really easy to bash the American dream from a clean house, in an air conditioned room and with a full stomach.
As Americans, we have no idea how easy our lives are compared to other countries.
And before you stone me…
I know the majority of criticism towards the American Dream is coming from the right place. It’s coming from people who are stressing the importance of focusing on “eternal value” – versus our temporary lives on earth.
And honestly, that’s honorable and what we should be doing. When compared to our eternal standing, the American Dream doesn’t matter.
But I think we’re sending the wrong message at times.
A message that shapes the American Dream as inherently evil.
Because it’s not.
“The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
You’re reading this on a smartphone, tablet or computer. All products of the American Dream.
You’re driving to church on Sunday mornings. A luxury brought to you by the American Dream.
You’ve enjoyed a nice, hot meal sometime today. A comfort built on the backs of the American Dream.
We have the wrong picture of the American Dream – it’s not greed.
The American Dream isn’t the pursuit of riches, fancy cars and 5-star hotels.
It wasn’t built on the back of Louis Vuitton and Bentley.
The American dream was built on the backs of our ancestors – people just like you and me.
Immigrants from all the world came to America, with a goal of improving their family’s future.
They came and worked hard.
They started businesses.
They laid an economic foundation that we’re still reaping the benefits from.
All in hopes of building a future for their family and future generations.
That’s why we need to remember…
The American Dream isn’t the enemy.
Our fallen, sinful hearts are.