"And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:27-34)

I increasingly notice a concept that promises a lot but causes pain. The concept: “We can have it all!” It promises we can have everything without making choices. We can have “it all,” and no one will suffer. Values will not be diluted. Priorities will not be altered. Relationships will be blessed. Individuals will flourish. Families will remain intact. Everyone will be “happy”—whatever that is.

“Having it all” requires adjustments, but the exchanges are okay. Thus, we exchange spiritual existence for a “going to church” habit. We exchange family time for couple of weekly meals together. We exchange “My word is my bond!” for “Can I legally contest that contract?” We exchange “it is needful” for “it is pushing.” We exchange relationships for lifestyle. We redefine success: success is what you possess instead of who you are as a person.

What results from seeking it all? Parents try to prove love by giving instead of being. Lonely, suffering children turn to anything that offers escape from loneliness. Divorce is expected. Religious habits replace spiritual development. Few are trusted [even in families!]; motives are doubted [what are they up to?] Boats dry rot in garages. Credit cards are over extended. We live today on what we hope to earn next year. We work too hard to enjoy each other. The gap between poverty and the middle class increases. Those with much seek more in the fear of not having. The definition of “rich” constantly changes. Remember when rich was having a few thousand dollars?

As the transition continues, two things are striking. (1) How easy it is to become selfish is striking. The question seems to be, “Am I happy?” The answer seems to be, “No, but I will be when I get ...” (2) The confidence “we can have it all” without having to make choices is striking. According to today’s reasoning, responsibility destroys happiness!

Choices are inescapable! We cannot have it all! One huge self-deceit of evil is, “We should never have to exclude anything.” Perhaps we exclude God! If so, that is sad beyond description! Following God is about unselfish choices—always! It is unselfish choices that define God’s concept of righteousness.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 February 2007

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