As Americans, we are obsessed with money. As Christians, we shouldn't be. This is from May 1, 2011.
I woke up in the middle of the night about eighteen hours ago and could not get back to sleep. In hopes of making myself groggy again, I stumbled into my living room and turned on the TV. Without cable, there are limited choices at that time of the day. I found myself watching a television evangelist, a man I had seen before although I cannot identify him by name. It was a different version of the same show I've caught parts of previously. During the fifteen or so minutes I was in front of the screen, he never mentioned anything remotely associated with Jesus or the walk of a Christian. What he did speak of was that he was praying for all the listeners to be blessed financially by God, for the listeners to have God put someone in their lives who has the ability to make them rich. (I guess that includes me because I was in the audience.) Fortunately, it didn't take long for me to get sleepy again so I headed back to bed. I can probably guess how the rest of the broadcast went.
If I had not known better, I would have thought the evangelist was a Tony Robbins disciple, giving a seminar on success in life and I mean that with no disrespect to Tony Robbins. But isn't Christianity supposed to be about Christ and not just my own personal desires and investment plans? The Lord often taught about money but His message was quite different than what I heard in the wee hours of the morning. Undoubtedly, we all know wealthy believers who use their possessions to glorify God and advance the kingdom. Praise the Lord for these brothers and sisters who are great stewards of their blessings and they use these gifts to help seek more disciples. That is in marked contrast to implying that following in the footsteps of Jesus is the path to becoming a millionaire. I don't know that preacher's heart and perhaps he does terrific work in the kingdom. Still, we need to remember that our fellowship with the Father should not be correlated in a economic graph with the other function being my income stream. I've seen many nearly destitute Christians in Haiti and Honduras who live in huts and who own no car, let alone a Mercedes, or in my case, a Honda Fit. I remember when I was a boy, we sang the hymn, Hungry And Faint And Poor in services on a regular basis. I doubt it's in many hymnals anymore. Maybe we need to bring it out of the mothballs for a few Sundays. You know, I could stand to sing a verse or two myself while I look at my own life in the spiritual mirror.
Applicable quote of the day:
Hungry And Faint And Poor (John Newton)
Hungry, and faint, and poor,
Behold us, LORD, again
Assembled at thy mercies door,
Thy bounty to obtain.
Thy word invites us nigh
Or we must starve indeed;
For we no money have to buy,
No righteousness to plead.
The food our spirits want
Thy hand alone can give;
Oh, hear the prayer of faith, and grant
That we may eat, and live.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org