Summary: Learn from the biggest blunders in the bible and don't make the same mistakes in your life.
Three Biggest Blunders in the Bible
“Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Intro: In the 2011 Republican Presidential debate, Rick Perry had a momentary lapse in memory. He said when elected President he would work to cut federal spending by doing away with three government agencies. The Departments of Education, the Department of Commerce, and then in a misstep he was unable to remember or name the third agency, the Department of Energy. After stumbling over his words he eventually said, "I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops." That gaffe was thought to have likely ended his campaign. Perry tried to laugh it off and accept it with humility. But the world can sometimes be very unforgiving. We have all made mistakes, faux pas, slip-ups, blunders. Today we are going to talk about “Three of the Biggest Blunders in the Bible.”
I. Having Everything and Having Nothing
“the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments” Luke 16:23
The bible tells us of numerous encounters Jesus had with people with lots of money and riches. There is nothing against prosperity or having great wealth. It is not how much you have but what you do with what you have that really matters. There are many examples of Godly people, Kings, and rulers, rich Pharisees and both wealthy men and women. How “wealth” is defined is relative to where you are and how people think.
A recent article in Time magazine talked about how the rich don’t think they are rich. For example a person with a million dollars in investable assets looking to start a new business or take over an existing business might not think they are wealthy. Of people surveyed who had between one and five million dollars to invest only twenty-eight percent considered themselves wealthy. Of people surveyed who had more than five million dollars to invest only forty percent consider themselves truly wealthy. Another revealing survey showed that people who earn one hundred thousand dollars a year think that people who earn over two hundred thousand dollars a year are rich. While people who are at or below the poverty level think people who earn around fifty-two thousand a year are rich.
The Wall Street journal put things in a global perspective and said anyone who makes over fifty-two thousand a year is a in the top one percent of earners worldwide. A pauper in one place. A prince in another part of the world.
How do you define riches if you do away with the measure of money? Are you rich because you have good health? Are you prosperous because you have friends? Are you wealthy because you have a good name and are well thought of? Are you blessed because people treat you with dignity and respect?
In the book “When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor” author Steven Corbett
Challenges the reader to rethink the definition of what is poverty. Not in terms of material possession but more in terms of issues of justice. “Poor people typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, voicelessness.
I was in a leadership meeting this week. The discussion was about the dangers of enabling people in their habits. Churches want to be involve in poverty reduction. But how do we deal with generational poverty? Does just handing out hurt more than it helps? Do our programs achieve their goals?
I recently talked to a person involved in a Celebrate Recovery Ministry. People have hurts, hang ups, habits. There is only one way to really rise above them. That is to deepen your relationship with Christ. He said there were three questions that he often asked. “What did you do with that last assistance check? When was the last time you were high? Are you using now?”
You have to dig out the infection before you can truly heal. What is your hurt story? What behavior keeps you from where you need to be? What brokenness prevents you from celebrating the day?
Sometimes people with the most and the biggest toys turn out to be the least satisfied and the most unhappy.
The recent suicide of actor Robin Williams has caused us all to stop and realize that people with celebrity status and those living in mansions often battle addictions, depression, illness and fear of losing what they have.
Hebrews 13:5 ESV says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Things like hospitality to strangers, helping someone in need, honesty and commitment in a relationship, produces real and tangible lasting happiness and joy.