Sermons

Summary: Part 2 in Television series, looks at various types of greed.

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Matthew 6:19-34

Who wants to be a Millionaire? That has to be a rhetorical question. U u pick me, pick me. Like who wouldn’t want to be a millionaire? Probably most of us have seen at least one episode of Millionaire and many people watch it on a regular basis. Then you know that the Show began in the UK and came to North America in August of 1999 with Regis Philbin as the host. The contestants battle it out in the fast finger round in order to achieve a spot in the hot seat to answer as many trivia questions as possible. With each correct answer the amount of money they win gets larger and the questions get tougher. The first person to win the Million Dollars was a John Carpenter by answering a question that was so simple. Out of the $1,000,000.00 that he won he kept $400,000.00 of it with the tax man taking the rest. Fitting because Carpenter works for the IRS.

Since John Carpentar won his Million dollars several others have also won amounts up to the $2,180,000 that Kevin Olmstead, an engineer, won on April 9, 2001.

The question shouldn’t be who wants to be a millionaire? Instead it should be “How Bad Do You Want To Be A Millionaire?” In 1990 James Patterson and Peter Kim wrote a book based on extensive surveys of the American Public, the book was called; “The Day That America Told The Truth.” Questions were asked concerning a wide range of topics from morality to work to family life. The results are really quite surprising. And while it’s easy to write off the results as being American I’m sure that many of the results would have been the same on this side of the 49th.

One of the questions asked was “What would you be willing to do for Ten Million Dollars?” A follow up survey was done asking about 5, 4, 3 and 2 million dollars and the results remained fairly consistent. It was only under $2 million that they began to see a fall off in what people would do. So it would appear the price for many Americans was $2 million. Out of the ten questions asked 2/3 of the respondents agreed they would be willing to do at least one, and some several of the deeds. What were they? Would abandon their entire family 25%, Would abandon their Church 25%, Would become prostitutes for a week or more 23%, Would give up their American citizenship 16%, Would leave their spouse 16%, Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free 10%, Would kill a stranger 7%, would change their race 6%, would have a sex change operation 4%, or would put their children up for adoption 3%.

You say that you have no interest in a million dollars, come on? At least be as honest as Mark Twain who said “I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.”

This morning we are looking at “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? A Matter of Greed.”

Collins Dictionary defines Greed: Excessive Desire, especially for wealth or food.

American Psychologist Eric Fromm said “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”


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