"With the Rich and Famous"
February 22, 2014
Texts: Deuteronomy 8:17-18; Genesis 13:5-6; John 3:1-15; Luke 19:1-10; Mark 4:18-19; Matthew 19:16-26
"I'd be much happier if I just had more money." Have you ever had this thought? It's tempting to think that money can buy happiness when you look at what some wealthy people do with their fortune: large houses, fancy cars, dream vacations, and guaranteed college funding for their kids.
Although there are happy rich people, it's not true that money can buy happiness. Read a few facts and quotes from wealthy people in an article from Business Insider:1
Having a lot of money makes you want to make more.
"I thought, if I could make 10 million dollars then it must be too easy. In fact, I honestly thought, everyone else had probably already made 11 million dollars. So then I felt poor again. I now needed 100 million dollars to be happy." - James Altucher
When rich people start dying, they become less proud of their wealth.
"After she attained what she thought was success, [my mother] was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She spent the days up until her death regretting almost all the choices she made and beat herself up day after day. One of her last journal entries included reflections on how unappreciative she was with the things in front of her, and finally realizing happiness does not lie within superficial matters a little too late." - Mona Nomura
Sometimes, you feel like you are God.
"When I was little, I used to take kids aside and explain to them that I was indeed God. 'Psssst, you know I'm God, right?' Obviously that feeling has left me, but it hasn't left my father, who used to tell me that we have blue blood. He now sits in his room in a constant depression, and is the most miserable person I know." - Igor Atakhanov
After you are rich, you take it for granted, like you take having great parents for granted.
"[Being rich] feels like all the other blessings we have in life when times are tough - we know that they are blessings, strive not to take them for granted, but can forget we're blessed when we're feeling down. It's like having a beautiful kid or a wonderful spouse or great parents. And for me, at least, I can say with absolute certainty it has not made me any happier." - Rick Webb
Why is it that being rich and famous doesn't make a person any happier? Because at the very heart of one's soul is the deep desire for something that money can't buy. Nicodemus was searching for that something when he secretly came to Jesus. And he found out that what he really needed was a new life--to be "born again."
Discipling the rich and famous shouldn't be intimidating. Nor should we envy them, become jealous, or shun them. They need to hear about Jesus just like everyone else. They need to hear that their sins can be forgiven and that a better world is coming. And if we don't tell them, who will?
Additional resource: youtu.be