Monday, October 29, 2012

Perspective: FWPs -- First World Problems

     Last week, I went to Sam's Club and bought about 10 pounds of ground beef.  I made 8 hamburger patties and decided to brown, season, and freeze the rest.  As I was trying to brown, oh about 6 pounds of ground beef in a big ole pot, I was getting increasingly frustrated.  I had put too much in, it was hard to stir, I was burning the bottom and not getting the top cooked at all, and I began to mumble to myself something that sounded like this, "Dadgummit.  Why won't this stuff ... ahh... that hurt.  Man, this is frustrating.  Arggg.  This is taking forever!"   And then it hit me:  I am standing here grumbling about browning meat to freeze for my family to eat over the next few weeks when there are people in the world who do not have food to eat at all.
     First World Problem.
     A few weeks prior, my cell phone time kept getting mixed up on my text messages so they were all jumbled up and I could NOT for the life of me follow a conversation.  My husband texted:  "FWP."  
     First World Problem.
     I can't figure out what to wear.  First World Problem.
     I need to exercise more.  First World Problem.
     My grass is dying.  First World Problem.
     My computer is so old.  First World Problem.
     Where should we go out to eat?.  First World Problem.
     Gas is so expensive.  First World Problem.
     I really need a pedicure, but I'm too busy.  First World Problem.
     We are out of garlic bread, and I was going to make spaghetti for dinner.  First World Problem.
     I am having such a bad hair day.  First World Problem.
     My health insurance premium is going up.  First World Problem.
     Oh no!  We're out of coffee!  Yes, even this is a First World Problem.
     A First World country is a country that is developed, industrialized, and well, rich.  The opposite would be a Third-World country which is an underdeveloped country marked by poverty.  Watch this:    

     I have a toilet that flushes, a car to drive, clean water to drink, and a refrigerator with food in it.  I have more than enough clothes, a roof over my head, and a bed to sleep in.  I take my kids to the doctor when they are sick, and I buy them presents for Christmas, their birthdays, Easter, Valentine's Day, and just because.  I can read and write, my children are being educated, and my sons get more allowance in a week than a billion people in the world live on in a week.  I throw food away.  I have electricity.  My children do not have to work so we can survive.
I am blessed.
So many in the world are not.


  1. Isn't that the truth, and how often I need to remind myself of it! On the other hand, Joni Eareckson Tada once said something about having to remind herself that other people's problems are BIG to them even if they aren't paralyzed from the neck down. Both perspectives are true and valuable. When the Bible says not to complain I think we're supposed to see our own problems as small things that God can handle and others' problems as opportunities for us to share encouragement.

    1. I agree, Sherry, that "both perspectives are true and valuable." For the record, the entire list of FWPs listed above are ones that I personally have grumbled about in my own heart lately, I and have been convicted of the trivialness of my complaints compared to those in other parts of the world who are in real need. The fact that my health insurance is going up $125 a month for a one income family is hard to swallow, but then again, we will make it. I find it ironic that I am the one in charge of Operation Christmas Child at our church, and yet I, personally, was complaining about having too much meat in my pot!

  2. Great post, Jenny. You are so right. Lord, help me to remember this.