Home > a new spirituality > if I was a rich girl

if I was a rich girl

I love that song by Gwen Stefani.  Love her!  She’s so artistic and creative.  But this song she sings is so typical of our culture: “think of what money can bring”….

I find money brings out the evil in me.   I wish I wasn’t a greedy person, but I am.   Just when I think I have enough shoes, I see ANOTHER pair!  In a different color!   I want them…..no, I NEED them…..   Oh and look at those earrings!  And then there’s my weakness: coats.   I know I live in Calgary but do I really need THAT many coats?  I often find myself in the predicament of having so many coats but nothing to actually WEAR underneath!   Alas ANOTHER trip to the mall! haha

We all joke about women and their love of the mall, but if we could have a bird’s-eye view of our culture with its love of money and its effects we’d be appalled.  People betray for money,  lose their character for money and even kill for money.   When I worked with young people in Vancouver, I couldn’t believe how many would sell drugs just so they could have the impressive high-end cars and designer clothing.

Jesus actually told His disciples the secret of what the problem is with money (I guess this problem is nothing new….)

Looking at His disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s Kingdom?”

The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

Jesus continued, “You can’t imagine how difficult.  I’d say its easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”

That set the disciples back on their heels.  “Then who has any chance at all?”, they asked.

Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself.  But every chance in the world if you let God do it”.

There it is clear as a bell.   It’s what money does to our inner-person.  It’s what riches does to a nation: makes us self-sufficient, independent, in no need of God.   Somehow this  creates this monster in us that  makes us self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining (that’s a lot of “self”!).  WE become sovereign and autonomous.    We’re “free” and not always in a good way: we’re free from the rules and whatever holds us back because WE rule.   Yes, think of what money could bring….

When I think of this inner attitude I can’t help but think of that old song “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child:

The shoes on my feet, I bought it

The clothes I’m wearing, I bought it

The rock I’m rockin, I’ve bought it

Cause I depend on me

If I wanted the watch you’re wearing, I’d buy it

The house I live in, I’ve bought it

The car I’m driving, I bought it

Cause I depend on me

All the women who are independent, throw your hands up at me

All the honeys who makin’ money, throw your hands up at me

All the mommas who profit dollas, throw your hands up at me

All the ladies who truly feel me, throw your hands up at me

There’s the message of our culture: I depend on me.  Problem is, Jesus said that won’t get us anywhere…… except away from Him.

It doesn’t matter if we call ourselves “Christian” or not, we all are mixed into this mentality that fights for our love.   In a letter that Paul wrote to a young man he was mentoring named Timothy, he warned that falling for this love of money can cause one to even lose their faith:

Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. (1 Timothy 6:10)

I’m actually in a period of time of my life where I’m intentionally trying (not always succeeding)  to stay away from the mall.  I find when I go there I’m too easily sucked into this way of thinking.    If I allow myself, I can get extremely materialistic and fast!    Just drive me through a nice residential area and as soon as I’m home, I’m looking up the ones for sale on the MLS website.   And lets not go there with vehicles….. I’m still waiting for my mustang.

I tried an experiment.  I had saved up some money to spend on myself.   Instead, I gave it away.   I did this to challenge myself not to let money have a hold on me.   Did I feel bummed after?  Surprisingly, no!  I actually had a fun surge of joy!  If you’re up for a challenge, try it.  I dare you 😉

I don’t believe there’s an “arriving” for us when it comes to our battle with love for money.  It will continue to lure the hearts of man for generation after generation.   But in the meantime I wonder if we can dare to live counter to the culture?   If we can live not just for today, but with eternity in mind?  If God’s kingdom can be our core cause instead of our self-sufficiency (a.k.a. pride)

I leave you with the lyrics of one of my favorite songs that continues to encourage me to stay grounded in this.

Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life’s demands,
‘Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me,
And every little thing I make up my mind to be,
Like I’m gonna be a daddy whose in the mix,
And I’m gonna be a husband who stays legit,
And I pray that I’m an artist who rises above,
The road that is wide and filled with self love,
Everything that I see draws me,
Though it’s only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes- a low blow to purpose.
And I’m a little kid at a three ring circus.

I don’t want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don’t wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

The paparazzi flashes, and that they think that it’s you,
But they don’t know that who you are is not what you do,
True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts,
Yo before we part from the start,
Where’s your heart?
You a pimp, hustler?
Tell me what’s your title,
America has no more stars, now we call them idols,
You sit idle, While we teach prosperity,
The first thing to prosper should be inside of me.
We’re free…
Not because of 22’s on the range,
But Christ came in range, we said yes now we changed,
Not the same, even though I made a fall,
Since I got that call, no more Saul, now I’m Paul.

How do I sense the tide that’s rising?
De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity,
How do I sense the tide that’s rising?
It’s hypnotizing me from living in light of eternity,

Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on you.
Grant us the privilege of your world view,
And may your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

(Lose my soul by Toby Mac feat. Kirk Franklin)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coHKdhAZ9hU&ob=av2el (official music video. check it out)

Categories: a new spirituality
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