6/01/2009 12:23:00 am

Getting Rich

Posted by Unknown |

Money in hand.jpg

I worked yesterday (Saturday) ushering for a "how to make money" seminar. What was interesting for me was that it was so unlike anything I am used to. I'm used to going to Christian conferences where a bunch of people talk to you about Jesus. This was a conference about how to get rich. While at a Christian conference often talk is about how to give, serve, help the poor, be humble, and repent, all in the context of worshipping Jesus. This was all about how to get rich, make money, have power, be successful, all in the context of worshipping the self.

One of the first things I heard when I started my shift was the guy making a joke. There was a Buddhist monk on stage who had obviously just been talking about happiness. The main speaker said "I think it's important to be happy. I saw the 2009 Lamborghini the other day and I got unhappy... because I only have a 2007."

There was a lot of talk about the economic crisis. It was all about how to exploit the crisis for your finacial gain. All the Christian talk I've heard about the crisis has been about asking, what is God saying through this? Has money been our idol? How can we be helping those people hit hard? How do we live more responsibly with money? How can we respond to the poor who are hit hardest? How can we trust God to provide?

The contrast between what the church is saying, and what these people are saying is huge. I didn't sit there thinking "These people are terrible." It did however illuminate for me how a huge section of the world thinks. Greed is still alive, well and celebrated.

I am so pleased that I can clearly see the difference between what this section of the world is saying, and what the Church is saying. The Church, as much as we beat it up, is being God's mouthpiece in this current economic crisis. We too might be suffering the consequences from our rampant greed and materialism, but at least we're asking the right questions. If we come out of this with a better attitude towards money, a greater generosity towards those who have less than us, a greater appreciation for God's provision, a greater understanding of money as a gift given by God not earnt by us, and a better understanding that money is a bad god, then we will have come out well.

I hope out of this current situation we don't just get changed wallets but changed hearts.