Repent of your ingratitude

Jordan Peterson is the latest of many people to point out the astonishing ingratitude of the millennial generation.

Click here for an example of what I'm talking about (skip to about the 9 minute mark).

This is tragically ironic, because in almost every way, we're in the top fraction of a percent of the most prosperous people who've ever lived in the history of the world.

There are differences among us, to be sure, but as a whole, people in the modern West are better off than vast majority of people alive today, and we're certainly incomparably better off than the vast majority of people who've ever lived.

This remains true by almost every conceivable metric, whether you look at health, life expectancy, wealth, financial independence, political freedom, access to education, social mobility, national and personal security, availability of technology, amount of free time, or whatever else.

The reason for this incredible privilege can in the end be boiled down to one simple historical factor: we are heirs of a western civilization that was build over many centuries on the foundations of the Christian faith, where every aspect of life was shaped in one way or another by the gospel of Christ.

And we should be thankful for that.

This is particularly important as a caution in the light of some of the things we've been thinking about at Emmanuel in the book of 1 Peter in recent weeks. We've noted on many occasions that our culture is heading in a pretty bad direction in many ways. Yet even while we acknowledge that this is true, we ought also to recognise that it's not as bad as it could be. In fact, in historical terms it's almost unimaginably better than it could be. So even while we lament the decline of Christian morality in our world, we ought to be grateful for small mercies, especially when those small mercies are in fact rather large.

So let's repent of our spirit of ingratitude.

And just as importantly, let's repent of the spirit of inactivity and victimhood that such ingratitude produces. Instead, let's march out joyfully into the strange and glorious world that the Lord has put us in, resolved to serve the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and strength, and to be grateful for the boundless opportunities we have to do so.