Summary: money is the primary way we judge so many things
"I’ll never be happy. I believe I’ll die alone. I would want it that way. I’ve been a loner all my life with my secrets and my pain. I’m really lost, but I’m trying to find myself. I just want to escape. I’m really embarrassed with myself and my life. I want to be a missionary. I think I could do that while keeping my dignity. ... I’m not going to be a Jesus freak. But that’s what I’m going to give my life to. I love Jesus and I believe in Jesus, too -- and I’m a Muslim. Listen, I got a imam, I got a rabbi, I got a priest, I got a reverend -- I got ’em all." - Mike Tyson, in USAToday, June 2, 2005
Anyone have any idea who said that? Mike Tyson. For those of you who may not know who Mike Tyson is, he is the boxer who was pretty much undefeatable in his day. But in recent years he has been accused and found guilty of many things, including assault, and has in frustration bitten of the ear of another boxer, and if you see and hear him on TV it is pretty sad. And you don’t expect to hear him saying, he wants to be a missionary, that he believes in Jesus. I don’t care who a person is, all of us have a spiritual side to us, all of us are craving for something beyond ourselves.
A friend was telling me how him and his work colleague were cutting up cake in the boardroom the other day, and my friend was cutting himself a rather large piece of cake, and everyone else a more moderate piece, as you do. And his work colleague, who is not a Christian said, hey that’s not fair! And my friend said to him, well the very fact you think about something being fair or not is proof that there is a God, and I thought about, and its true. Fairness is not something animals think about. If a coyote sees another younger coyote getting beat up by a tiger, does he appeal to the tigers sense fo fair play? No of course not, does he say to the man eatng tiger, pick on someone your own size? No, animals, unlike humans do nto have any idea of fairness. As the chicks in the nest are crying out for food from mums beak, are they watching to see if their brothers and sisters are each getting the same portion of regurgitated bird food? No, but you can bet if you buy your son and daughter a Mc Happy meal, they are going to kick up if their sibling gets their meal upsized. We are into fairness, and the reason is because we have a soul, a spiritual nature.
Which leads us this morning to our second part of our series on money, money, money, and this week we are looking at money and spirituality.
And fairness and how we judge it, goes right to the heart of money, because when it all boils down to it, money is the primary way we judge so many things. Which restaurant we go to will be put through the money parameter. Just got your tax check, off to the loose box, day before pay day, two for one at hungry Jacks.
What you pay for something will determine what you expect from it. $1.50 a toy car from the markdown section
$15,000 a reliable run around town
$150, 000 a status symbol
these values we do carry across into our spiritual lives.
Very often as Christians we try to keep the two separate, as though our spiritual lives have very little reference to our financial ones. But in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Remember how much of what Jesus said was about money? 15%
One of the things He said was this,
"Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship him. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor." - 1 Chronicles 16:29 (NLT)
Why did only one cleansed leper return to thank Jesus? The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine did not return:
One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, "O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything."
One said, "Any rabbi could have done it."
One said, "I was already much improved."
In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don’t." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."