My First World Problems and Perspective

I am a man plagued by first world problems.  Here are just a few of the things that I’ve complained about over the past week:

  • An uncharged macbook.
  • Having to fill my gas tank in freezing temperatures.
  • Netflix not having a current season of 30 Rock available.

In light of all my troubles I’m still trucking along in my (almost) paid off 1998 Honda Accord, with the peeling paint job.  I’m wearing whatever clothes I can get on sale at TJ Maxx or Ross, and I’m using computer equipment that my church pays for me to use.  I don’t even own the Macbook I’m typing this post on.  My world is really crazy, right?

Not so much.

If I’m not careful I find myself losing all perspective, and living out the garbage I see on Reality TV.  Perspective.  That’s some kind of word, huh?  How to get it?  How to maintain it?  How to keep it?

I’m not sure, but I know that this $100 backpack will sure help.  Or will it?  I struggle to live out my perfectly perfect life in an environment that is the envy of the rest of the world.  I struggle.  Struggle, really?  What the what?  It’s the great western world dilemma.  Living with gratitude for all that I have, while also having a perspective on the blessings I’ve been given.

I get to contemplate matters of great significance: Should I put my kids in that great new school in town? Should I go to graduate school? Is the new iPad a toy, or a work tool?  Just seeing those words makes me want to puke.  Is that significance?  It is, but it isn’t.  It isn’t, but it is.

Then this Bible verse goes and set’s me straight.

2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that  though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”

My personal goal is to open my eyes to realities in the world that I would rather ignore and to let the Bible call me to look at those realities through the eyes of the one that gave up all to become poor.  And he did it so that I would become rich.  Not rich, like owning vacation homes and wearing expensive clothes rich.  Rich like not needing things of the world to define me.


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they've adventurously grown their family with two sons and a daughter.

Jonathan is currently the Connection Pastorr at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, TN, where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. Having served in the local church for 12 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big leadership steps with their families.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Terisa

    Very good!!! I can relate in so many ways.