I can of Myself do nothing.
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
Americans like to talk about themselves. Our mouths are filled with 'I, me and my.' Our hands reach and our feet dance to the familiar tune of 'gimme, gimme, gimme.'
We believe we deserve cars, computers, iPhones and good hair. We believe we deserve to eat our favorite foods. We believe we deserve to live in comfort and have fun. We believe in rewards, and we want them quickly.
Generational nicknames have moved from Baby Boomers like me (1946-1964), to Generation X (1965-1979), to Generation Y or Millennials (1980-2000), to Generation Z (2001-)--or as one author puts it, 'Generation Me' (Jean M. Twenge, Ph.d.)
Her book's tagline reads: 'Why today's young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled--and more miserable than ever before.' She co-authored another book called 'The Narcissism Epidemic.'
It's common in our culture to hear words like... 'This is my life. I am entitled to a good one. I want to be the best I can be. How will this job, decision, or relationship benefit me and my family?'
Consider this comparison: The personal pronoun 'I' appears 173 times in the Gospel of Matthew (NKJV); 135 'I's' are said by its Authors: Jesus and God. Its human author, Matthew, never says 'I'. Only two disciples say 'I': Peter said it six times during his denial of Christ. Judas, the betrayer, said 'I, I, I, I,' because he was self-focused, rather than God-focused.
Among Christians, even the best and surely the worst are tempted toward a fascination with I, me and my.
To Be Continued...
Generation Me: http://www.generationme.org; http://www.narcissismepidemic.com/aboutauthors.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Personal Pronouns series.