The Rat Race
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Do you know anyone who has ever won the rat race? This question deserves more than a chuckle, because, upon reflection, most of us will have to acknowledge we really don’t know anyone who has. (p. 30).
“How did I get caught up in the rat race in the first place?” (p. 31).
This dichotomy between God’s order and the order of this world produces a strain on the Christian man trying to sort out his thinking. (p. 31).
The most lasting satisfaction of life is in our relationships, so why are we trading them in for careers with companies that will drop us like hot potatoes if we miss our quota? Our standard of living must be measured in more than one dimension. (p. 33).
We are programmed to consume, because the dominant economic theory employed in America is that a progressively greater consumption of goods is beneficial. (p. 35).
Secularists believe that man establishes his own moral values apart from the influence of anyone (including God), and he self-determines his destiny — he is “the master of his own fate.” (p. 36).
Today, a lack of contentment pervades the life of the American consumer. That’s because consumerism and media influence have caused a basic shift in values. The desire for things appears to have become more important than having a meaningful life philosophy. (p. 38).
10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.
The more we get, the more we want. Anxiety is the natural by-product of chasing the beautiful, wrinkle-free life. (p. 39).
The rat race boils down to the conflict between who we are created to be and who we are tempted to be. (p. 41).
The American Christian faces a true dilemma. We can choose the rat race, or we can choose to not love this world and “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1). (p. 41).
“Most men are caught up in the rat race.” Agree Disagree. Why? (p. 43).
If the rat race is an unwinnable race, why do you think so many men run in it? What are they trying to accomplish? (p. 43).
In what ways has your material standard of living gone up since you were a child? In what ways do you think your moral/spiritual/relational standard of living has been affected?(p. 43).
It appears that many men have been lulled into mental and spiritual complacency. How have consumerism and the media impacted your own values and the way you spend your time and money?(p. 43).
Madison Avenue works hard to define for us who and what we are, usually in terms of the beautiful, wrinkle-free life. What practical steps can you take to free yourself from its influence?Morley, Patrick. The Man in the Mirror (p. 43). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.