what the Bible says about the American dream

‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry!’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:19-21

The American dream is a moving target, largely dependent on what year it is, but if it is anything, it is the desire for more, for prosperity, for ownership, for an easy life after working your tail off for three or four decades. After all, you deserve it, don’t you? That’s what our culture wants us to believe, anyway.

The guy in the parable had it made, and what Jesus describes there sure sounds to me like a first-century version of the American dream. But what does God say about that man and his dream? “Fool!” and within hours that man was standing before God explaining to him why he had pursued such an empty goal with the life God had loaned to him.

Jesus saves, and one of the things he saves people from is the emptiness of the American dream.

what the Bible says about the brevity of life

What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
James 4:14

James wasn’t saying that your life is worthless or of no consequence, as the rest of the book of James and the Bible tells us plainly that life is highly valued and it has eternal consequence.  Compared to eternity, though, our life is a flash in the pan that is over very quickly.  If you’ve ever forgotten or doubted the frailty and brevity of the human life, spending some time in a hospital Emergency Room, like I did last night, should cure that tendency in a hurry.  Don’t waste the one, short life that God has given you.

Don’t Waste Your Life