Yesterday evening, while I was watching a little TV before I turned in for the night, this commercial came on and it caught my attention. It was not the cute baby that everyone has talked about in the reviews that caught my attention, but rather it was the truth of this commercial that caught my attention. After watching this commercial, I began to reflect on it. I asked myself, “Who has it right: this baby or the well dressed suit?” I couldn’t help but think, “There is something important here in how this child has no interest in money or the ways of the world.” Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6: 19-21, 24) Too often in the “American Dream” I think we place wealth in the place of God. However, our children have no interest in money, nor does their pride get in the way of their actions. The child responds “No” without any thought of his status in the survey. We understand the opposite of pride to be humility and when Jesus was asked who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven he responded, “He called a child, whom he put among them (disciples), and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble (emphasis added) like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:2-5)
As to the small percentage of those who said “No” in this commercial, it also speaks true to those who will come to view this world with a Christian worldview. Later in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus speaks to the few who will follow the teachings of Truth. He says, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Now you may begin to ask, “What about those who have not sought riches, but found themselves rich?” Money in itself is not evil, but Paul wrote to Timothy, “For the love (emphasis added) of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” (1 Timothy 6:10).
When the Wesleyan movement was in full swing, John Wesley wrote a sermon called “The Use of Money” (1760). You see, he began to write tracts for merely 1 cent each, but found himself beginning to become rich. Wesley wrote this sermon in reponse to his new founded wealth. In summation of this sermon Wesley wrote, “Gain all you can, without hurting either yourself or your neighbour, in soul or body, by appylying hereto with unintermitted diligence, and with all the understanding which God has given you. Save all you can, by cutting off every expense which serves only to indulge foolish desire, to gratify either the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, or the pride of life. Waste nothing, living or dying, on sin or folly, whether for yourself or your children. And then, GIVE (Emphasis added) all you can, or in other words give all you have to God.” Wesley in this sermon really emphasizes taking care of those things that are our needs, and the rest given to do the work of God. (Sermon Full Text Linked at Bottom)
As I now finish my reflection on this commercial, I am torn between two sides. One side of me says that if we were to save 50% more money, that would mean more opportunity to give to the work of God. However, the other side of me says that we should not desire wealth, and be like the child. As Paul wrote, excess money can lead to more temptations and divisions. How many times have we seen this in church council meetings? I suppose where I fall on this is as long as we are being good stewards with the money that has been entrusted to us, then the “suit” wins. But if we are weak minded and desire to store up unnecessary treasures on earth (those things that are not needs), then we are called to be the 1% child.
My hope is that this reflection is at least thought provoking and begins to arise questions within yourself as we think about money and our call to be a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.” (1 Peter 2:9)