This morning as I was reading and praying with Jon Thurlow's 8am set in the prayer room, this tweet that John Piper posted last year came to mind:
Heaven is not a hall of mirrors where we like what we see, but the grand gift of self-forgetful joy in the glory of Christ.
In this present evil age, sin causes us to believe that life's greatest joys are found in being praised, affirmed, loved, and recognized. In our quest for lasting joy we work hard for promotions. We seek a bigger and better house to entertain guests. We promote ourselves beyond our actual ability in order to be recognized - all because we believe the lie that these things will give us the fulfillment we are seeking.
Though the acts of working hard, buying a home, or advertising our skills are not sinful in and of themselves, they become sinful when we use them to seek our highest and lasting joy, because Christ Himself is to be the sole source of our highest joy (Mark 12:30). The "American Dream" is in direct conflict with biblical Christianity for this very reason. These idols are presented as the source and the terminus of our joy, not as things that help us to exult in the Maker of them.
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