Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rich beyond belief

When life is weighed in the balance and we are confronted with its fragility, the significant is distilled from the irrelevant. With the weekend shootings at both New Life Church and the YWAM base in Colorado, we are suddenly forced to take a closer look at our own lives, and at how finite we really are. So I pose a troubling question today: If your life ended right now, would people celebrate the life you had lived? Is your legacy one that would suggest that you gave more than you took, or would those who knew you best, breathe a collective sigh of relief at your demise? Whatever the case, events like these force us to take a closer look at our humanity and at how we interpret what is value to us.

With the recent spate of allegations of financial mismanagement by pastors of mega ministries, here's what I have to say about whether or not they are living in excess: NOTHING! It doesn't matter to me in the slightest. What really matters to me is how I am living in response to how God has asked me to live. Believe me when I tell you that this is an issue that I have really had to process through. I have had more material possessions than most people on earth. I have always had a full stomach (when I wanted). Over the years I have spent money buying 'Christmas' trees which I turned around and discarded a few weeks later, while people on the other side of the globe had no guarantee that there would be a next meal. I have a decent vehicle to move around in, and even to drive myself to the doctor's office where I get great health care if I need it. Shamefully, I take all of this for granted until I'm confronted with my mortality and my proclivity towards excess.

So the truth is that I am certainly not interested in executing judgment on how other Christians are living their lives. I have enough trouble trying to figure out how to live mine. This video segment of a Rob Bell (Mars Hill Church) message drives home the point much more powerfully than my words. Enjoy!


Ms Harkins said...

Thanks for the video. We cannot feel guilty for what we have and keep comparing to people that live in poverty and misery. We do our share of generosity and love sharing, but each one has his/her own path to go in this life. Hope I dont sound tough, I am not at all.

By the way, have you visited my blog?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Harkins, I don't think that the point of this video is to make us feel guilty for being blessed. I certainly didn't get that sense. Rather, what this video did for me was to remind me of how I so easily sometimes take the blessing of the Lord for granted when there are people not far from my doorstep who would give anything to live a minute in my shoes.

Joseph said...

Anonymous, touche! That is exactly what I tried to communicate in my post also. I am not remotely interested in casting aspersions on how anyone else is living. I have enough of my own "issues" to deal with, and I am reminded, during seasons of such turmoil, that I have a significantly easier and better life than most, that I often take for granted.