Digging in Deeper: James 5:1

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Do you remember the original House Hunters on HGTV? I do. It caught on because it’s format was unique. I’m certain there were shows about people buying houses before, but something about the visit-three-pick-one approach caught on. Big time. Like, 183 seasons and almost 1,800 episodes caught on. Not to mention more spin-offs than you can probably imagine. And while there’s nothing quite like the original, the most popular spin-offs are the ones that focus on rich people buying big houses. A recent version is even called “My Lottery Dream Home.” What is it about seeing wealthy people buy stuff the rest of us can’t afford that is so addictive to watch?

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The Problem with Wealth

In part five of our series, Finding Meaning, we look at one last place we often go to fill this lingering void in our lives: Wealth. Money is a tempting source of meaning because it can make so many things happen that seem to be on our behalf, but if contentment is the thing we are seeking in having it, we are going to come up empty. Contentment has another source. Keep reading to find out what that is.

The Problem with Wealth

Have you ever felt like the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and at the expense of the not-so-wealthy?  The odds are that unless you happen to feel like you’re part of the “wealthy”—that ubiquitous class of people who are imprecisely defined as folks whose net worth number has a couple more zeros than yours does and who serve as a convenient villain for all kinds of occasions—you’ve probably felt like this before.  As fair and impartial as our system is supposed to be, having money has its advantages.  And the more money you have, the more you are able to tap into those advantages.  We defer to wealthy people in ways we don’t similarly defer to not-as-wealthy people.  Humans have always done that.  We have always assumed that people who have lots of money have managed to get that money for some reason and whatever that reason is, if we haven’t been able to get lots of money ourselves, it must mean they’re better than us in some way.  We can try and deny that all we want, but that’s how pretty much every human culture has always worked.  It just is. 

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Zero G’s

In this third part of our series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we talk about another way to reduce its pull on us.  Once we know who is the real owner of the stuff we normally call “ours,” what comes next?  Simply put: We have to learn how to use it like He would.  To find out how that is and what we should do about it, keep reading.

 

Zero G’s

We recently watched the Oscar-nominated film, The Martian, starring Matt Damon.  It really was a great movie.  It’s about a team of astronauts who have established a little outpost on Mars.  During their research, however, a wild storm moves in and they have to abandon the post, at which point they decide to begin their year-long return to earth.  In the chaos of trying to get on their escape vessel as the storm rages around them, however, Matt Damon’s character gets separated from the group.  Presuming him dead, the group’s leader makes the agonizing decision to return without him.  I’ll stop the synopsis there so as to not give anything away if you haven’t seen it, but needless to say, the film includes quite a few scenes of the astronauts doing life on their enormous ship.  With the exception of a section of the ship in which they have somehow simulated gravity, all the movements about the ship take place in the weightlessness of space.  In order to film most of the scenes the actors were put on wires or else pantomimed being weightless in outer space while balancing on one foot. Read the rest…

You Don’t Own Me

In this second part of our new teaching series, Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff, we begin talking about some of the ways to do just that.  The first way we can make our stuff small in our lives is to begin to develop an attitude of gratitude about it.  For the whys and hows check out the text below.  Thanks, as always.

You Don’t Own Me

Have you ever experienced the change of attitude that can come from being grateful for something?  Whether they knew it or not, when your parents and grandparents and teachers and any other busy-body adults you’ve had in your life taught you to say, “thank you,” when someone has done something for you, they were not just teaching you good manners.  They were actually giving you some powerful spiritual advice.  There’s something about developing a grateful heart that can cause changes in our outlook on just about everything.  Think about it like this: Have you ever had a really bad attitude about something?  Of course you have.  The better question is when was the last time you had a really bad attitude about something? Read the rest…

Wealth Has Gravity

This week we kicked off a brand new teaching series called Gravity: Overcoming the Weight of Our Stuff.  For the next few weeks we are going to take a look at the pull that our stuff can have on our lives, including keeping us from drawing as near to God as we would like, and how we can overcome it.  In this first part, we look at just how strong this pull can be.  Thanks for being a part of this conversation.

Wealth Has Gravity

Rich people have it made, don’t they?  I mean, if you’re rich and something breaks, you can just call someone to come fix it.  Better yet, you can just throw the old one out and get a new one.  When you’re rich and a new version of something you have comes out, you can just go and get an upgrade.  When you’re rich, you don’t have to do things like wait in line at a theme park.  You can just pay extra money and walk right to the front.  When you’re rich, you don’t have to worry about transportation.  You can just drive one of the multiple cars you own.  Or, forget that, you can hire someone to drive for you.  Think about that: When you’re rich, you can get someone whose job is to drive people around and have them drive you around wherever you want to go.  And oh, the things you can buy. Read the rest…