There was a media uproar over the weekend about a certain American televangelist who was fund raising in order to buy himself a sixty-five million dollar private jet.
Yes, you read that correctly, sixty-five (65) million dollars. You see, the ‘man-of-God’ has to travel a lot. He’s in demand around the world and it would just make things so much easier if he could replace his old jet with a new one. Plus he needs to commute from his home in New York City to his church in Atlanta. It’s hard to believe that anyone could justify such a purchase let alone someone claiming to represent Christ.
This week his ministry has announced that they are dropping the issue and will be looking out for a new plane only if it is ‘properly priced.’ Until then the poor man will have to travel ‘commercial’. How horrible, is there no end of his suffering for the cause of Jesus?
Where in my anger do I begin? How many orphans could be fed and clothed worldwide with $65 million? How many church plants could be started in communities? How many people could be vaccinated against disease with that amount of money? How many new missionary families could be supported for years with that fund? Yet this self-deluded individual believes that he is so important to the world that he can only travel on what is considered to be the world’s most exclusive jet. Thank goodness there will be a heavenly accounting in this matter because that guy has a lot to answer for.
The Bible doesn’t condemn wealth or riches. There are lots of examples of rich individuals in the Scripture. But we are warned against seeking wealth above other things. We are told to beware of those “who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:5-10)
These words from Paul are sobering. We need this kind of reminder because the world around us (and certain false teachers) keep telling us that our worth comes from the size of our bank account. Nonsense. The Kingdom of God is about people not money. It’s the ‘love of money’ that causes so much grief. We need to learn to be content.
As part of the fund raising campaign for the jet, the televangelist was asking for 200,000 people to give $300 each. I have decided to give $300. But not to him or his cause. Instead I know of another situation where there is a need and $300 will make a difference to a missionary and his family. I’m challenging you to do the same. Is there some ministry, some individual, or some cause – far from the media spotlight – that you can donate to this week? Be generous and gracious. The only way to break the power of money is to give it away.