July 13, 2013

Spoiled by T. L. Wiens

I was at the house of an elderly couple. The husband had a severe infection in his leg and the wife was worn out from looking after him. Their daughter came under the guise of helping out Mom and Dad. The husband had a guest and was busy visiting in another room. The wife fell onto the chair next to me and leaned up against the table, gasping for breath. (I was blocked behind the table.) She’d aged ten years in the two weeks since her husband got sick.

Their daughter emerged from the room where the husband was visiting. “Mom, the men need coffee.”

Mom waved her arm and pointed in the general direction of the coffee pot. “It’s right there.” She was too tired to get off her chair.

The daughter stared at her mother and then at the coffee pot before returning to the other room. A few minutes later, she again demanded her mother to come fill the coffee cups in the next room. Finally, the guest came into the kitchen, grabbed the coffee pot and served the coffee.

I wish this was a fiction story but it’s not. When I look at this forty something year old daughter, I’m disgusted at her behaviour. But she’s only acting out from her upbringing—she’s spoiled.

I’m visiting a church. We are asked to sing a last song as a means of ending the service. The worship leader apologizes because this is a youth focused service and this last song will be a hymn. I’m shocked and appalled that there would be that much intolerance to singing a worship hymn simply because it was a hymn. But the people are just following the lead of the decision makers of this church body.

I fear for the church that has become like a spoiled child. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:24,

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Discipline? The church cannot even tolerate singing a song that may not fit their style.

Spoiling is not loving as we see in Proverbs. The end result will be the same for both the elderly couple and the church—selfish children, demanding when they should be serving. From I Corinthians 13, we know love is the greatest gift. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by dying on a cross while we were still sinners. How can a spoiled generation find Truth when preoccupied with self-indulgence? How can we as writers help bring love back into focus in the church?


  1. I agree wholeheartedly Tammy. We are spoiled - all of us. We want our way. Today in Oswald's reading he reminds us to turn the other cheek because we serve Jesus. Jesus is the One we serve, no other.

    Churches also are becoming broader in their thinking - not Christ's thoughts - but theirs. Acceptance of things not biblical.

    So either we are judgmental or too open. Where is that narrow road?

    Janis www.janiscox.com

  2. There is much truth in this - thanks for your willingness to probe this issue with honest inquiry. Sometimes I get a wee bit discouraged with the church (understatement), but God always seems to give me these pesky hints that I'm part of the problem ;-)

    I am encouraged when I remember that it is God who works in us - both individual Christians and Christ's Bride, the Church - to will and to act according to His good purpose. And Jesus is preparing His Bride, refining her and making her beautiful. I do pray that we - the North American Church in particular - allow ourselves to be weaned away from the milk of shallow faith.

  3. Yes, Jan, we are all spoiled. Unspoiling is not pleasant or easy.
    Marcia, I agree wholeheartedly. I fear this shallow faith is becoming no faith at all.

  4. Thanks for your well-expressed point of view, Tammy, and I do agree with you. These two examples point out how spoiled and shallow we are. The young woman was blind to her mother's exhaustion. The song leader was catering to the young people's "need" for music "lite" or something livelier than the a solid hymn that suited the message.

    Unfortunately, immaturity or it's-all-about-me will always creep into church and into our lives. And yes, Marcia, I get that feeling that I can be part of the problem too. (Look what I do for the Lord! Wow!)

    Paul mentions his concerns about having to give the Christians milk rather than solid food because of their immaturity. You'll find this in 1 Cor. 3:2; Heb, 5:12; and 1 Pet. 2:2.

    Thanks, fellow writers, for you reminders here.

  5. Your examples are certainly signs of the times that were predicted in scripture... 'People will be lovers of themselves' etc...

  6. Well said, Sharon.
    Too true Tracy.


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