Sermon Illustrations

PRIDE AND GREED SPOIL RELATIONSHIPS

Are you so focused on your career, your raise and your ambitions for the future that you fail to realize the gift of relationships that God has given you today? The second rule is that people come before possessions and positions. Otherwise, you might find yourself getting near the end of the game and you find that you have no one to share it with.

John Ortberg tells the story in his book, "When the Game Is Over, It All Goes back in the Box." Armand Hammer was the President and CEO of Occidental Petroleum for many years. He was a giant of capitalism and a confidant of world leaders. He was a towering figure on the world scene.

But after his death, the true picture of this man became clear. He got his start laundering money for the Soviets. After he made his money, he paid authors to write fictitious autobiographies of his life to impress other people. When he was a young man almost ready to graduate from medical school, he performed an abortion and almost killed the woman. His father took the blame for this and spent two years in prison, and the son never spoke up and said he did it. He neglected his own son and never acknowledged the daughter he conceived out of wedlock. He had no friends in his company where he freely fired his executives. When his brother died, he sued his brother’s estate for $667,000 of the $700,000 estate, keeping the money from his brother’s wife who was in a nursing home and his brother’s children. When he died, his own son did not attend the funeral, and the only people who carried his casket were those who were paid to take care of him in his home.

So here’s the question, did he win or lose at the game of life?

(From a sermon by Tim Smith, Game Over: When It All Goes Back in the Box, 10/19/2009)

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