Remedies for Affluenza

April 15, 2016 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments

Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement

The word “affluenza” has been prominent this past week, especially in light of the ongoing parole case involving the “affluenza teen” in Texas. To be honest, I don’t recall ever seeing this word before (I missed the teen’s original trial, I guess). I joined with millions of others and made the word “affluenza” the ninth most Googled on Wednesday. I’m intrigued by what I found.

Affluenza is defined as “a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence.”

Affluenza is almost considered a disease. Other websites talk about how contagious it is and that it is a widespread epidemic in the U.S. Psychologically sick from the pursuit and gain of wealth.

What about the moral implications related to affluenza? Discussion of morality is absent from the conversations about affluenza.

The apostle Paul wrote about affluenza in the 1st century. He called it the “love of money.” He says, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Tim. 6:10). I imagine that some of the pangs Paul had in mind were “lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.”

What the world sees as an affliction from the outside, the Bible describes as a corruption of our inner desires. The world has many suggestions for how we can cope with affluenza and even overcome the symptoms. The Bible says we can never overcome the corruption that lies within on our own. Our only hope is the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection redeem us from the guilt of sin and cleanse us from the corruption of sin and bring about new life and desires in place of the old.

The only remedy for the disease of sin is the work of Jesus Christ.

Do you have affluenza? Apparently it is rampant in the suburbs of America. Or do you have pleasurenza? Or approvalenza? Or pridefulenza? Or insecuritenza? The world wants to tell you that you can overcome. The Bible says you can’t. We need to hear of the remedy of Jesus Christ every day! Seek to understand more and more all that God has done for you through Jesus.


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