Chuck Bentley on Should We Believe in the American Dream Anymore?

Dear Chuck,

Watching the news lately makes me question the American Dream. In a disaster, things suddenly lose their meaning. It’s relationships that count. How can I pass this on to my loved ones?

Life is a Vapor

Dear Life is a Vapor,

I am with you on this one! Life is but a vapor. The Bible says we are all like grass that grows briefly then withers away and dies.

My wife’s family recently lost a loved one to cancer. Two others are walking through the valley in their fight against it now. “Things” lose their luster in light of our certain mortality. We are all standing in the same line that leads to the exit door.

Health challenges, the devastation of the recent hurricane, fires, and mass shootings do indeed cause many to reassess their “treasures.” These horrifying events expose the reality that we are all very temporal and so are our worldly possessions.

The term “American Dream” is thought to have first been used or coined in 1931 by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America. He wrote: The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.

Geographic, economic, and political factors made the “Dream” possible for millions in our nation, which is good. It has brought about unprecedented prosperity, lifted millions into the middle class and advanced charitable causes the world over.

But, some now say that the American Dream has become a far less lofty objective, reduced to the pursuit of material prosperity, bigger cars, fancier homes or simply “a comfortable and high standard of living.” Regardless of how you personally define the American dream, it is worthwhile to rethink it in light of God’s Word.

Treasure in the New Testament

We have many Biblical references to better and lasting treasures that eclipse any rewards of the American Dream. Pay close attention to just a few I have highlighted here:

Promise of Lasting Treasures

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley