Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Show but...

I'm sitting here watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I must admit that I really do enjoy this show. It makes me feel good to see people who have experienced serious tragedy get rewarded for their perseverance and selflessness. The people behind this show do things on a large and public scale that I have done on a smaller and private scale on mission trips. That is the good side of the show.

But not everything in EMHE is quite so good. I fear that there is an element of this show that reinforces the entitlement attitude that pervades society today. I'm certain that there are people out there who watch EMHE and think, "Why aren't they coming to build me a new home? I've had a hard life! I've suffered losses!" Last week my oldest son expressed that he wanted a home and amenities like the people on EMHE got. I asked him if he was willing to make the tradeoff for it. What? I said, "Are you willing to have your house burn down and lose your dad and older brother in a drowning accident in order to have a new home?" I think he learned a little something.

One more thing that bothers me about the show. When one goes on a mission trip in order to help others, one sacrifices. You give of your personal vacation time, usually pay money, sleep on church or gym floors, and work outside in the elements usually without shelter. I don't see a lot of sacrifice from the workers on EMHE. This is their job, they get paid to do it. The main crew, Ty and the designers are certainly not sleeping on the floor, and everyone working on projects for the house outside has and EZ Up for cover. Even the major sponsors "give" items for the home and family, but they receive promotion for their products in the midst of the show. The builders probably put out a lot and their employess often work at a reduced rate, but in all, I don't see the kind of sacrificial giving portrayed in this show that I know we all receive in Jesus.

Nonetheless, I still can't take my eyes off this program. It never fails to bring a tear to my eye and joy to my heart. And in the end, there's nothing bad about that.

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