It’s mine :-\

A friend and I were talking about Notre Dame and the French backlash to the large donations by some wealthy people and employers. He asked me, “Do you know the difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution?” I said, “No?” He said, “The Americans didn’t want anyone to be a king while the French wanted everyone to be a king!”

It has amazed me to read about French protests against the people and employers that are contributing to the rebuilding of Notre Dame. PBS published an article about this.  I guess I shouldn’t be amazed since this is the natural, worldly response to acts of love. Just read Luke 12:3-5:

Luke 12: (NIV)
3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,
5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”

That’s the same spirit we see today when someone gives something of great value. Instead of rejoicing, people in their greed say, “Give it to us, instead!” But when we read Christ’s parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16) we see Jesus affirming the right of a person to give their money as they chose. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 20:13-15, “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

Praise be to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33) and its ways. Through Jesus, we too overcome the world (1 John 5:4).

Avarice

Gollum was voiced and performed by 
Andy Serkis in Peter Jackson‘s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings.

Twice, I’ve witnessed an inheritance from a parent to their children result in considerable damage to family relationships. It astonished me how hidden greed stepped from behind the curtains of flesh and, taking center stage, completely threw family sorrow into ugly avarice. It’s not funny like the “unbridled avarice” in the movie “A Christmas Story.”

Now, we may not be aware that greed or envy is one of our weaknesses until wealth stands close to us. And envy, being that sly cousin of desire, can do the same damage as greed but without money ever coming near us. 

What a loss we suffer when we love money. To love money testifies to our lack of faith in Jesus for we are told in Philippians 4:6 (ESV), “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

To protect us from the love of money, Godliness includes practicing self-restraint or habitual moderation (i.e., temperance). (2 Peter 1:3-8)  It’s okay if God prospers the work of our hands. That’s a blessing so we can bless many people. Ah, but if you or I start to feel like Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” then don’t walk but run from the source of that temptation! 

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