World Problems

I watched this video a few weeks ago and it made my heart hurt a little. How else are you supposed to feel after watching a video like that? How should you respond?

First, I am definitely writing this as someone who can relate to “first world problems.” I’ve never even spent more than a month in a country that would be considered “third world.” I think no matter what “world” you’re coming from though, there are several concepts to be taken from videos and messages like this.

You should be grateful for what you have. Sometimes, I feel bad about how blessed I am. Two Christmases ago, our first year back in America, I was so disgusted by the commercialism here, that I genuinely felt bad every time I walked by our Christmas tree and saw gifts under it. I don’t think that’s an attitude that God would approve of though. I shouldn’t feel guilty for what I’ve been blessed with or the type of life I lead as long as I’m being a wise steward of the things He has blessedme with. Guilt is not a positive reaction to this video. Instead, be thankful for what you do have and learn to appreciate it. This video just gives some perspective; it should not make you feel bad for what you do have.

There is brokenness everywhere. Brokenness does not just exist in Africa. Something about “first world problems” rubs me the wrong way. And it’s not just because they’re silly problems. I think it bothers me because there are lots of problems in first world countries besides cracked iphone screens. I might be going out on a limb here, but it reminds me of the quote “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you do.” Except maybe in this scenario it would be, “Don’t disregard my pain because it looks different than yours.” Again, not talking about the silly first world problems – I’m talking about sin and brokenness. For some people, watching parents go through a divorce is just as heart wrenching and painful as watching loved ones die from a disease with no cure. Just as serious issues like a lack of water should not be disregarded, neither should the real problems of first world countries be disregarded.

God has a global heart and so should we. God does not have more love for one country or people group over another and neither should we. As missionary kids, our parents thankfully feel the same way. Going on mission trips and donating to charities seem to be the “in” thing right now. And yet it is also controversial at times to get involved with other countries and try to help. Instead of worrying about what’s “politically correct” and what will look good on Facebook, take a look at your heart. It should want to help fix brokenness in third world countries as well as first world countries. In fact, it should just want to help because in God’s eyes we’re not broken down into different types of worlds.

What are your thoughts after watching?

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