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ME, ME, ME! MORE. MORE, MORE! NOW, NOW, NOW! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 09 February 2017

ME, ME, ME... MORE, MORE, MORE... NOW, NOW, NOW!

By Jim Jordal

 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.                                                             Luke 12:15-21, KJV

It’s the mantra of a failing culture and a fading country---once great but now in decline amid the raucous clamor of all persons for themselves with little or no concern for the possible outcomes of their ignorance and greed.

Almost every time you turn on TV you are immediately assaulted by the worldly philosophy of “me, more, and now.” There appears to be no middle ground: “Get it now while you still can.” It’s a sad, gyrating, twisting dance between buyers, sellers, advertisers, regulators, producers, consumers, entertainers, politicians, and even on occasion the quiescent religious establishment that lends its tacit approval to the whole sad affair.

Why did Jesus caution the players in the above drama to “Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things he possesses.” Is it because covetousness when not yielded to the healing hands of Jesus becomes an all-consuming fire? Again, it’s not wrong to have possessions or good things of life, but it is wrong to allow them to control your life so that they become for you another form of idolatry.

If you don’t yet believe in the awesome power of greed to seduce and control human beings, consider the oft-reported but seldom bemoaned struggle among some of the mega-rich over dwellings and the other great status symbols: yachts and private jets. As one rich man said, “Why do I need ten houses? I can only live in one at a time!” But one is not enough, neither is a hundred-foot yacht or a small jet enough. Yachts keep getting bigger and bigger as the uber-rich struggle to keep ahead of each other. Now new yachts sometimes reach 600 feet long, complete with gymnasiums, art galleries, movie theaters, Olympic-size pools, gourmet restaurants, and their own helicopters and shore boats. And the jets grow from small single turbine engines into full size 747s. And it never ends as greed and ostentation struggle for dominance and human approval. But worst of all is that some of the people flaunting such wealth also own financial institutions and other corporations supposedly dedicated, not to the public welfare, but to creating more wealth for owners.

The Parable of the Rich Man (above) illustrates the quandary of wealthy persons who depend upon their hoarded wealth to carry them through bad times and old age, but soon find they have no safe place to store it. Back then it was barns and granaries that stored wealth; now it’s secret off-shore accounts, collectibles, and ostentatious living. But make no mistake: when hoarded wealth becomes the major source of our attentions and the only cushion against troublesome times, we are in deep spiritual trouble.

Jesus goes on to elaborate on one great fear of many very wealthy people: Who gets what I’ve hoarded when I’m gone? We read about the legal squabbles and familial infighting connected to the disposition of great fortunes, and wonder if we could escape a similar fate if we had great wealth. But God provides the answer: Be rich toward God, meaning among other things that we use whatever wealth we possess to honor God and to support human decency in all phases of life and business.