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An “Interesting” Plea: The Root of #firstworldproblems

10/15/2011

in·ter·est·ing adj \ˈin-t(ə-)rəs-tiŋ; ˈin-tə-ˌres-, ˈin-ˌtres-; ˈin-tərs-\: holding the attention : arousing interest

The word “interesting” gets tossed around a lot.  When all other adjectives fail or we’re too lazy or unable to come up with something else, the “interesting” card gets played.  Other times, we throw “interesting” out there as a way of being intentionally vague.  And yet other times, “that’s interesting…” conveys disinterest in something that’s just been said by someone else.

However, there’s another secret weapon of this ever-so-useful word that I’m quite fond of.  The times where something actually does hold your attention and make you think.  The times where the multi-implicativeness explodes and oozes out of your brain.  Okay, enough of that.

I read this today, and it was truly interesting:

Proverbs 30:7-9

7Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
8Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the LORD?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

The words of Agur here in Proverbs 30 need little explaining.  A clear plea to God for a simple, yet provided-for life devoid of falsehood and lying.  A contrite request for the best conditions under which to serve and worship God.

Now that’s interesting.  That holds my attention.  Why?

In a world where more is better, an America where success is equated with excess (anyone get the reference?), and even a Christian culture where hipsterism (ideologically rejected but practiced Prosperity Gospelism) a mentality like Agur’s is both illogical and devastatingly foolish (1 Corinthians 1:18-30).

Agur’s words, however, are infinitely wise.  They are Holy Scripture and building blocks to a biblical worldview– one that takes Scripture and doesn’t just relate it to life or inform a moral stance on how the world works.  Instead, Scripture is the essential component in a biblical worldview.  In such a mindset, life without the Bible is dangerous.

But instead of striving for this mindset in our lives, we often substitute what should be a biblical worldview for selfish and sinful mentalities that install idols that cast shadows on Christ.  “First world problems,” then, formulate a nonchalant relativity and contented-discontentment that brings us far from making any sort of plea that Agur might have penned.  We start to have “first world problems” like (all straight from a twitter search of “#firstworldproblems”) waiting in long lines, being bored, being too lazy to go upstairs to charge one’s phone, having to taste the tomatoes in a turkey sandwich, and not being able to get the latest iThing (which would become obsolete anyways, ha-ha).  We are so completely in love with the falsehood and lying that is paramount to our culture’s advertisement and self-importance.

And so, as simply put as possible, the root of “first world problems” is two-fold (for now):

  • the mentality of Agur’s plea is out of the question (more to come)
  • the Bible is not even close to having an entirety of influence in our lives (also more to come)
Not to say we can pin everything wrong with the first world’s arrogant laziness and self-absorbedness on two things, but we’ve got to start somewhere, right?  Interesting.
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