($ and Posessions and Media)
Jesus talks more about money and posessions than anything else in the Gospels. Throughout His life He taught many people with numerous stories to represent the Kingdom of God and what it looks like in this world. He always reminded the disciples and bystanders that you cannot serve two masters. Whether that be money vs. God, relationships vs. God, yourself vs. God or whatever it may be for you, He warned us that it is not possible and is also dangerous to get close to that dividing line.
Having so much could mean so little in this world to the next. Material things are shiny and colorful and pleasing to the eye for a reason: money. Everyone wants money. Everyones wants comfort. Everyones wants the perfect future they’ve pictured in their heads their whole life. Why?
These material things are made to look like fufillment. They are advertised to look like fufillment. To taste like it. To feel like it. But you know what? The people that are tying to sell you the houses, cars, clothes, jewelry, and credit cards are also reaching for this false sense of fufillment themselves. They want you to pay them a whole lot of money so they can do the same thing and spend it until their hearts are content.
It is a circle.
You also see people with lots of money and posessions giving to charities, orphans, the ill, etc. We all see it. Thats my point.
In Matthew 6 it says,
“Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others…”
Many times we are caught doing that. Its easy to do this when you’re very involved in a church or you’re trying to display a certain image or both. For me, it was getting involved in church a lot. When I started getting involved with church all the time and church people were my friends, I wanted to prove something to them by how much I serve or give or do. Sooner than later I saw a path behind me of service and good deeds that didn’t produce “fruit”. The seeds I thought had planted were not planted right. Those seeds were for approval from man. Not God. Its always important to check our hearts when we take a close look at why we do what we do. Why do we give? Why do we serve?
Trying to portray a certain image is a lot of work. Its all about making sure you’re wearing the right thing and saying the right things and talking to the right people. I don’t know when identity started falling into the hands of man, but its something that has happened to many of us in our lives. We worry about what people are thinking and saying about us.
Sometimes we want our identities to latch on to someone else’s. Sometimes its someone rich and famous. They look like they have it all. They have security, they are loved by millions and love themselves. When we see that, we may think we want that.
I see a lot of people loving a celebrity so much that they start to identify with them. They tweet them, they follow them, they talk about them, and they think about them a lot. This perfect person is displayed on a screen where you can hit replay on their videos on Youtube all day long.
Sometimes its a cute guy or a girl that is a perfect candidate for someone if they were on their own season of “Bachelorette” or “Bachelor” (if you know what I’m saying). Sometimes its an athlete that just seems too cool for anyone. Sometimes its a person who is really talented at what they do so we want people to know that we follow them.
Its crazy that people can associate themselves with what celebrity they like the most. How the fans will instantly cling to only their celebrity’s entourage. Some fans even become enemies against other fan groups… The power of one famous person is efficacious. Am I saying its a good or bad thing? I’m just saying its crazy to me.
Celebrities, entrepeneurs, and millionares are heroes in the world’s eyes for doing what they do best. It could be starting a worldwide company, making a movie, singing, dancing, or creating an App on the iPhone. That person and their managers/partners are always seeking opportunities to get their names known in the media. Its about spreading word of their name or company. Most of their lives are lived for making their name known whether that name be a company, and app, or their actual name.
We do that too. Social media is the easiest way to get known. The easiest way to get attention as well. We hastag and follow and post just the right picture to spread word of our names.
With this power we have to spread word throughout media, you’d think it’d be so much easier for Christians to spread word of God’s name. With the accessability to do so, it seems to be easier to spread word of our names. Yes, there are many faith-based accounts dedicated to God, but there are also MANY more Christians that use their accounts for very different reasons. Those reasons could include lifting themselves up. I don’t know you but you do. When you post a picture, you know your intentions when you click share. Media is powerful and effective. A lot of the time we use this resource to make ourselves look fun and happy and hot and likeable. We want our names to be known and remembered. But why create your legacy online with pictures or posts? Why not create a legacy with things you do?
“Music can change the world because it can change people.” -Bono.
Music is one of the most powerful and influential pieces of media. Pop artists have that influence in the sweaty palms of their hands. They give their talent back to the world with what they create, sell, and perform. But what I see is and hear is not giving. I see artists lifting themselves up along with sex, money, drugs, and the list goes on. The lyrics are about the artist in some way, shape or form.
To me, most of the time, these pop songs don’t look like giving. We look up to these people so much and all they are doing is taking. Taking our money and time for lifting themselves up more.
Not all celebrities are like that but a lot are. You can tell by the messages of their songs. I don’t get celebrities that go on and on and on about how deep their music is and the meanings behind it when the lyrics describe a party where everyone is wasted and doing whatever the heck they want.
I realize some people that read this may get defensive because they have a certain celebrity in their mind that they love and don’t want anyone bashing on. You might be trying to defend them in your mind. If thats you, hear me out.
The only reason I am talking about celebrities is because of their influence on this country and in this world. We all have our favorites that we follow and ocassionaly tweet @ them… But if we’re trying to defend our favorite celebrity by saying, “ALL of their songs/shows/movies aren’t great but he/she is such a genuinly good person” we’ve allowed that power and influence to stear our minds into accepting things the world says is okay. And when we think these things are okay, then we start loving these people even more and turn them into idols.
Obsessing over people, material things, or money leaves an empty hole where we fought so hard for fufillment. Lifting ourselves or material posessions up will only bring ourselves down to a level where we rely solely on temporary things. Its a bottomless pit that desires to be filled up when in fact, its impossible for that to ever happen.
What we feed ourselves effects what comes out of us. I’m not talking about food even though its still true for food (gross). I’m talking about the media we take in and the ideas of looking good and having a lot of money. Wanting to look good while doing good things is worthless and empty. Give because its a good thing and we serve a good God. Don’t hold on to money and identity so tightly that it weighs you down, pulling you farther away from all the things you can do for the Kingdom of God.
Giving is so important according to Jesus. And if we do good things for approval from others or for an identity, the bad intentions behind a good thing decreases the value behind that good thing. Why give if all we’re wanting to do is recieve in the process? That’s called taking and we learned about that in Pre-School. We should know the difference by now.