Monday, April 28, 2008

What Your Life Is NOT About

(Two snowflakes combine to form a heart falling in Monroe.)

The Real Jesus’ words are subversive. Like what Jesus says in Luke 12: 13-21. Jesus is speaking in front of several thousand people when a man interrupts and tells Jesus to side with him against his brother in an inheritance dispute. Jesus tells the man that He’ll have nothing to do with such things. But Jesus does use the man as an example of what NOT to do.

In Luke 12: 15 Jesus says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” These words are phenomenally un-American. Because here, in America, a man’s life (and a woman’s life as well) does consist of stuff, possessions, things, and money. In America today clothing does “make the man.” People get defined and hierarchized in relatiion to the carrs they drive, the homes they live in, their physical appearances, the jobs they have, their accomplishments and trophies and degrees, and so on. Here in Monroe, when I moved here 17 years ago, I heard about the “East Side” like it was the place where lesser people lived.

Jesus rejects all of this. Your life and my life, Jesus says, does not “consist” of things we wear and drive and live in and hang on the walls of our home. Can you see how radical this idea is? Can you see how, if people in America who say they are Christians actually bought into what Jesus is saying, then our consumer economy would go down the tubes? All we’d have left to trust in, since we’re not trusting in possessions any more, would be God and one another. And that would be very interesting. Would it be worse then what we have now?

Not according to Jesus. The idea that in money and possessions we have “security” is false, as well as idolatrous. And it forms the breeding ground for worry and anxiety. Who can doubt that in America today, and across the globe, these are very anxious times? And that the anxiety level is directly related to a pseudo-security that is umbilically connected to money and possessions and, to use the Jesus-word, greed?

Are you worried about your future today? Why not begin by finally rejecting the idea that your worry will diminish when you have more money. The truth is that no one in the history of our planet has ever had “more” than you and I have. So, logically, if the solution was “more,” then we should be the least anxious people who have ever lived. Unfortunately, the daily news says the opposite.

In the Kingdom Jesus talked about there’s not words like “worry” and “anxiety.” Because it’s all about trust in a God who loves and cares for you more than He cares for sparrows. And there’s phenomenal freedom in the Kingdom of God. Because God does not evaluate you by what you wear, earn, drive, or eat. To God, your life does not in any way “consist” of such things. Receive this and live free.