(1 Timothy 6: 17-19, The Message) Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
Growing up in the 1980’s and the 1990’s, before technology became so commonplace and advanced, wealth seemed like a very foreign concept. If you were around during that era, watching TV every evening as many of us did, then you probably remember the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It was hosted by Robin Leach, a British reporter in a sport coat with a very posh, London accent. He would take us viewers on exclusive tours through the homes of very famous and extremely wealthy people from all over the world. Because of this show, I saw things that seemed completely unreal to me — wealth beyond what I could ever imagine. During those years before social media, the public loved famous people, but they weren’t so accessible, so the obsession with wealth and fame just wasn’t so widespread. Those were the days when becoming famous wasn’t so easy, and though middle class was the norm for many people, wealth was a pipe dream.
Over the past 20 years there has been a tremendous shift in society, and we have become more obsessed with looks, money, possessions, and fame than ever before. I blame it on technology (even though I do so love it and depend on it in my own life). But I digress…
Because it is just a lottery ticket, a screen tap, or a You Tube video away from our grasp, our society has become distracted by the relentless pursuit of wealth and fame. As a result, we have become more and more selfish, self-absorbed, success-driven, money-hungry, greedy, competitive, and judgmental. But let me remind you, if you are Christian there is no place in our lives for these rotten fruits that our current world produces. If you take the time to actually pay attention what what we are being fed by the media, you will find that every bit of it is in direct opposition to the good and sweet fruits of the spirit that God has to offer His children.
I can’t help but think about junk food. It is so plentiful, so easily accessible, and so addictive. We have a taste and we just want more and more…until we’ve had so much that we are literally sick! We know that there are healthier choices out there for us to eat, but we get sucked into the craze and the need for more of the junk. Eventually, we forget how delicious and filling all of the healthier foods can be to us, and we just keep going after those empty calories that never satisfy…that always leave us longing for more. Recently, my husband and I have been on a journey toward better health. We’ve cut out junk food, sugar, and most carbs. We’ve both lost a lot of weight and are feeling pretty great, but the main thing that we have come to learn is that we are so much more satisfied after meals now. We are making conscious efforts to partake of foods that will fuel our bodies and nourish us, and we are never left feeling guilty or lacking.
The junk that this world has to offer us will never bring true satisfaction. No amount of money, no house, no new car, no vacation, nothing…none of it will ever make us feel complete. We are born with our very own, unique purposes, and they are not to simply make a good living, acquire stuff, and die. NO! We have a responsibility and an obligation to our Heavenly Father — to be generous (especially when we are blessed), to love and forgive, and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds. So we cannot allow the distractions of the world to suck us in and lull us into the trance. We can’t continue to fill up on all of the junk, leaving no room for any of the goodness of God’s way and plan for our lives. We must instead follow hard after Him, seeking and loving Him above all else. In return, all that we could ever hope to have and experience will be stored up for us in the heavenly places.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes I forget that nothing we acquire here can be taken with us when we leave this world. So whether I struggle every day of my life, or whether I am blessed with wealth that most of us could only ever see on TV, I know that I must make every effort to be a generous steward with what you have given to me. Help me stay focused on You. Amen.