“No!” “I Don’t Want To!” “It’s Mine!” When a parent hears these words from a screaming toddler, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. No one likes being around a spoiled child, which is why parents must address the issue before it gets worse. Did you know the Bible calls Christians “God’s children“? This implies the need to grow and mature. It also implies the risk of being spiritually spoiled. So how can you tell if you’re a spoiled Christian?
The test is simple… Do You Complain, Grumble or Take God’s Grace for Granted?
In 1 Corinthians 10 the Apostle Paul confronts the Corinthian Christians in their spoiled attitude and behavior. He reminds them of how the Israelites took God’s grace and deliverance for granted.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 – For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them, God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now, these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
God not only delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and slavery, but He also guided them through the wilderness with a cloud, protected them with a red sea, and provided them food and drink for 40 years. Yet, God was not pleased. Why? Because they were complainers and grumblers, entitled, ungrateful, and had quickly lost perspective that they used to be slaves in Egypt (Numbers 11:1-6). Although they had been delivered from slavery, they started focusing on what they didn’t have, rather than what they did have. The Israelites had become spoiled.
Unfortunately, as Christians, losing sight of God’s grace and being delivered from sin can also be an easy thing to do. Left unchecked, we can have short-term spiritual memories when it comes to our need for a savior (see my blog post, “Hell No”). If this happens, it will inevitability lead to complaining, grumbling, and becoming a spoiled Christian.
So how do you avoid this trap? Go back to the cross! Don’t forget your need for a savior. Remember you were born a slave to sin like the Israelites were born as slaves in Egypt. You were unable to change your sinful condition like the Israelites were unable to change their slavery condition. It took God’s grace and deliverance on the cross to free you from your sinful condition. Praise the Lord! If you lose sight of this, you will slowly lose your sense of gratitude.
Test yourself. When was the last time you really mourned over your sin? When was the last time you thanked God for His forgiveness and mercy? When was the last time you got excited about the hope of heaven? If it’s been a while, don’t be spoiled, thank Him right now! Spend a few moments in prayer, confessing a selfish and spoiled attitude. Like a parent-child relationship, God will respond to grateful children who humbly express thankful hearts for all they’ve been given.
As Christians, we need to learn from the Israelites and be careful not to slip into having spiritual temper tantrums or complaining about what we don’t have. We must stay focused on the cross and remember all that God has done and continues to do when we don’t deserve it.
Don’t be a spoiled Christian! No one likes being around one, including God.
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