A couple of months ago, I posed a question on Facebook asking people what the biggest obstacles to serving others were.

One answer pulled me back with its honesty.

I’m selfish.

Now, this person most definitely is not selfish, but the beautiful truth of it struck me. It’s not super fun to admit, but honestly we can all be selfish. I’ll admit that I sometimes am.

 A ride is fifteen minutes out-of-the-way.

Serving in the mobile food pantry line in the dead of winter is just plain cold.

My schedule can’t fit in a phone call I know will turn into hours.

I really wanted to buy something for myself, not give that money away.

I want to EBay that old car seat, not pass it on to someone who needs it.

That situation is just messy, I don’t want to get involved.

Sunday mornings are just so hard to get everyone up and going.

I’m sick of being the one to always say yes.

Lately, the term “first-world problems” has gathered recognition. This describes frustrations and complaints that might seem like a luxury to someone in a developing nation.

I think all of the above could fit under the hashtag #firstworldproblems.

God loves us with gentle grace and forgiveness. He understands that serving others is often inconvenient. When we mess that up, He gets it. I think He appreciates our honesty and desire to be more than we are, that love your neighbor command was a pretty big one.

What do you think of the term “first world problems”? Do you think first world problems is a place we, as Americans get stuck or do you feel as a society we are working to move beyond ourselves?

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Lisa VanEngen
Lisa Van Engen is a writer from Holland, Michigan. She loves to offer up encouragement about making a difference at her website About Proximity. Lake Michigan and hiking are two of her family's favorite things to do.
Lisa VanEngen

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