wealth and power

Category : God, Judges

   

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family” (Judges 8: 27)

I’ve been thinking a lot about wealth and power, and I think I’m finally coming to the point in my life where I can honestly say I don’t want any.  There was a time where I would have loved to have been famous, or at least well known.  The thought of being influential and remembered in history was exciting.  (I still smile when I think about school kids 200 years from now trying to remember trivial facts about my life.)  It would also be nice to not have to worry about money.

But as I sit here thinking about those things, I just don’t want the trouble that comes with wealth and power.  I can barely manage my own problems, I don’t need any more.  And wealth and power seem to bring a lot of problems.  Consider that the Steelers are going through ownership struggles.  The Steelers founder gave a share of ownership to each of his sons, and that’s been passed down the line.  Now one brother (Dan Rooney) is trying to buy out the other brothers.  For a variety of reasons neither side is happy with the other.  And a sale doesn’t look promising, which means no Rooney will own the team their father/grandfather founded.  They make sacrifice the family legacy, break the hearts of millions of fans, all for a few million dollars.  Is money worth that kind of legacy?

Or if you’re a music fan just look at the divorce hearings of Phil Collins or Paul McCartney.  I’m not in a position to say how much money the ex wives deserved or didn’t deserve.  But there’s no question the divorces would have been less acrimonious and less public if there wasn’t so much money at stake.  Money makes you do funny things.

We are all vulnerable to it’s influence.  Even people God personally selects to do amazing things, like Gideon.  After living a life that God used to save thousands of lives, Gideon gives it all away for wealth and power.  The wealth he accumulates becomes “a snare to Gideon and his family”

Jesus said “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  I don’t think that’s because money is evil.  I think it’s because money changes who we are.  And I’m not sure I want to take that risk.

absolute power & leadership

Category : Jesus, bible, love, taking action

      

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power” (John 13:3)

So what do you do when you have ultimate power?  When you have literally been given “all things”?

Well, if you’re Jesus you serve. 

John tells us that when Jesus knew he could do anything he wanted, he chose to serve his friends.  He chose to get on his knees and wash the feet of his disciples.  I wonder how I would respond if I had that kind of power?