Wednesday, February 07, 2018
The Love of Money
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?
Or what will they give in return for their life?
Pick up your coffee mug and ask yourself what would you do if you won $700 million. In some respects you wouldn't have to do anything in terms of actually spending any of that massive amount of cash. Investing it at a cautious rate of two percent would net you $14 million forever and ever amen. A New Hampshire woman bought a Powerball lottery ticket which resulted in a $560 million US prize ($701 million Canadian) and now she's on easy street for the rest of her days...maybe. The catch is that in order to collect her massive winnings her name must be revealed, and she refuses to let that happen. There is now a standoff between the winner and the New Hampshire State Lottery. Here is a portion of its statement:
“The New Hampshire Lottery understands that winning a $560 million Powerball jackpot is a life-changing occurrence Having awarded numerous Powerball jackpots over the years, we also understand that the procedures in place for prize claimants are critically important for the security and integrity of the lottery, our players and our games. While we respect this player’s desire to remain anonymous, state statutes and lottery rules clearly dictate protocols.”
Why is the woman so reluctant to do something so simple to claim her fortune? She realizes that her life will be changed forever and that it won't necessarily be heaven on earth which, if you watch the commercials, is what every lottery holds out as the carrot for purchasing a ticket. She is an active community member and figures she will now be defined by her wealth. She's filed a lawsuit against the lottery with the argument that "she wishes to continue this work and the freedom to walk into a grocery store or attend public events without being known or targeted as the winner of a half-billion dollars," the complaint said. It adds that she plans on remaining in New Hampshire and giving back "to the state and community that has given so much to her."
She's actually on to something. Many lottery winners have suffered as a result of their windfalls, investing poorly, becoming the victims of scam artists, including family members. Some of have been murdered by those trying to gain access to their wealth.
It will be interesting to see where this goes. If she loses her legal case, will she walk away from the moolah? My bet it that she doesn't. The love of money is powerful and while she has a meaningful life now, she wouldn't have purchased the ticket if she didn't feel that it could be enhanced by a financial windfall.
No wonder Jesus spoke more about wealth and its perils than sex and other topics some Christians insist are most important. Don't you figure that the evangelical fawning over President Trump has everything to do with wealth and power and nothing to do with the gospel? One supposed Christian leader says that the pres gets a "mulligan" on his transgressions. Why is that?
I wonder if the Powerball winner is a member of a local church and whether she's had a chat with her pastor about this conundrum.
What do you think about this story? Could you walk away from wealth for the wellbeing of your soul?