Those that know me know I don’t follow politics very often. There are some things that are greater than my comprehension. Politics is one of them. I try to pay attention to the hot-button issues but, there’s a depth to the whole process that I don’t understand.
One of the things that has caught my attention, and I’ve followed with some regularity, is the “We are the 99%” issue. Now, I’m not going to delve into my opinions of it and the comments, if there are any, that come from this shouldn’t be political in nature. That’s not the point. The purpose of this is to flip the script.
We as Americans…well, we as humans tend to be very me-centered and the “We are the 99%” protests are a shining example of that. If you were to be honest with yourself, would you admit, either to yourself or to this Internet community, that you’ve thought about others when it comes to your finances?
In 2007, the most recent data I could find, a study showed that 56% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Fifty-six percent. And we Americans are worried about the fact that we can’t buy the newest car or iPhone or shirt or whatever it is we covet.
I remember back in 2008 during a Koinonia, Stu Smith, arguably Asbury’s most famous bald man, said, “God doesn’t give us the talents we have to serve ourselves. He gives us the talents we have to serve those outside this community. Whom do you serve?”
It just so happens that talents were a form of money in biblical times.
There’s a story told by Max Lucado in his book titled Fearless. It’s pretty long but the metaphor in it is awesome. So grab a drink and sit back.
“A few years ago, our family got involved in a game of Monopoly. I was on a roll. First time around, I stopped on Illinois and Park Place and bought them both. Then I added Indiana and Boardwalk. Let anyone come down that street and I had them dead. I bought all four railroads. I had houses and hotels; I couldn’t keep from smirking. I had so much money; I had to set some on the side. Everyone else was counting their little dollar bills and I had hundreds and thousands!
Finally, around 1 a.m., they all went bankrupt and I won! They got up from the table with no word of congratulations and headed for bed. ‘Wait a minute now!’ I said. ‘Someone needs to put the game away.’ They replied: ‘That’s your reward for winning. Good night!’
And there I sat, alone. All my hotels, all my deeds, all my money, and I realized, it doesn’t amount to a thing. And I had to put them back in that box.”
He sums up the chapter (and I highly recommend you go buy the book, if you don’t already own it. If you do, give one to a friend.) with this:
“God owns everything and gives us all things to enjoy. He is a good shepherd to us, his little flock. Trust Him, not stuff. Move from the fear of scarcity to the comfort of provision. Less hoarding, more sharing. After all, it’s just Monopoly money. It all goes back in the box when the game is over.”
Remember this Lenten season, to the world, we are the 1%.
Kevin is an Asbury graduate. He worked on Summer Staff for six summers and has been a frequent writer for our blog.