December – It’s that time of the year when I get family newsletters from friends and relatives about what is happening in their family. You know the kind – you get a Christmas card with a printed out newsletter inside that is being sent out to all their friends.
BEFORE I go on with this blog I want to make it CLEAR that I like getting these and I enjoy reading them! I am not being Scrooge here and saying we need to stop these. Sadly, in many cases these family newsletters are the only contact I have with some people so I do cherish them.
Disclaimer aside this is what I have noticed in most of the newsletters I have gotten. They are all oriented around what was accomplished by us and especially our children this year. You know what I am talking about: Jimmy made varsity football as both quarterback and center at the same time, Susie got elected to Student Body president and has transformed the school administration into a kinder friendlier place, Johnny made the Honors Roll in school and is now headed for Harvard Uber Law Academy, Momma and Daddy just completed an around the world tour, etc.
This has gotten me thinking. This blog is called Thoughts after all
I am thinking that these blogs are a reflection of our performance oriented culture where value comes solely from what we accomplish. People want you to think they are successful so they write their blogs in this way. For instance, when was the last time you read that their youngest son spent most of the last month in juvenile jail?
Now I am a big proponent of accomplishment. I love accomplishment. We are made to accomplish. But my value should first come from who I am and secondly from what I accomplish.
If we are not careful, performance orientation reinforces the world’s external values of wealth, beauty, power, and fame. Even in some of these simple family newsletters the values being applauded are these external values. Think about it. These are not biblical values. Now I am all for wealth, beauty, power, and fame. May more come our way and we use them wisely for the Kingdom of God. But these are usually the only values the world appreciates.
As Christians we are not to be of the culture but a counterculture. What are some of the kingdom’s values? Hmmm…
I wonder if it’s time I start writing an end of the year family newsletter? Maybe next year? If I am to do this I guess I need to be on the lookout for what my children do in the area of generosity, gratefulness, humility, and even servanthood.
I wonder if anybody would want to read a newsletter like this?