Monday, December 21, 2015

Hate the Successful

At the risk of doing two Dave Ramsey vids back-to-back, here's another that came across the wire.
(Watch it, or don't.  The article below will cover the content, and I don't care if he gets clicks for it or not.)

So here's the deal:  Guy works several jobs every spare moment, reduces to an all mac&cheeze diet, and pays off a $250k home in only three years!  What's crazy is what happens next.  All of a sudden the internet trolls climb out from under their bridge and storm the guy.

The big questions I want to talk about today are, "Why?", "What does it mean?", and "What is the proper response?", and, of course, relate all that back to the adventurous life.

First off, why all the hate over a guy who has a vision and takes extreme, self-sacrificial measures to make it happen?  After all, it lands somewhere between, "doesn't hurt anybody" to "wow!  If he can do it, maybe I can too!"  Why wasn't that the reaction?  Why do people hate people who are successful so bad?

Why?

It all comes down to the 10th commandment.  (Hint: That's the one about "covetousness".)
Today, in our culture, that's not a recognized sin though.  Now it's politically correct to be envious and want a share of what somebody else has.  Total jealousy.  Total envy.  In fact, I have a right to everything you have, whether I've earned it or not!

But why that as a commandment?  If you could only pick ten rules, would that be one you'd put on the list?

It really is an important one when you think about it.  The alternative is to be consumed with envy and desire, which, if left to its own devices leads to theft, destruction, rumor milling, even murder.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

"The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."  (1 Timothy 6:10)

A little rant:  Note that the object of that sentence is a phrase, "the love of money", and not a single word.  But, people shorten it to "money", and say, "See?  Anybody with more money than me is evil!"... though, ironically, their motivation for doing this is a love of money and the bitter envy that sprouted from that root.

What other "all kinds of evil" does covetousness produces?  Where even to start!??  It's all over the place!

Let's talk tabloids.  So and so was caught doing some scandal with so and so!  Look at so and so in her bikini -- she's certainly put on weight!  So and so is getting a divorce!  What's the appeal here?  Is it, "Oh, poor George Clooney.  I feel sad.  I need to remember to pray for him."?  Of course not!  It's all about the scandal!  It's all about tearing down the stars so we feel better about being nobodies.

Or, like the recent trend in the Olympics where they keep the camera's trained on an athletes face as the scores are announced, hoping to catch a foul reaction.  There's even an entire internet "meme" known as "McKayla is Not Impressed", featuring a scowling McKayla Maroney's reaction at taking silver in the 2012 Olympics.  There's probably more to the story than just a sour snapshot, but you know what I mean?  It's like, "Out of 7 billion people on the planet, you're only the second best.  No wonder you're so unhappy."  Grow up!

And that's just the mean-yet-petty department.  It gets as sick and serious as you've got stomach for.  Who knows how many have been killed over the years due to feuds and rebellions and class warfare all over the globe?  Read about the "Reign of Terror" sometime.  People getting lined up and guillotined at total random, but for the sake that they had money, and the mob wanted it!

For the Christian, however, God gave a commandment, not a suggestion.

Not exactly what He was going for in this verse, but it reminds me of something Jesus said, "And when she finds [her lost coin], she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’"  (Luke 15:9)  If this was written today, her friends and neighbors would be all negative and backbiting at her good fortune.  But look at the thing!  It's not supposed to be that way!

When somebody (like in Jesus' parable) comes into money, how about we congratulate them and cheer for them.  When somebody is wearing a nicer outfit, rather than grumbling we should say, "hey, looking good tonight!"

When somebody does great things, we should be the cheering squad, not trying to drag them back down to make ourselves look better.

I guess I could do that.  I could shut down the blog and tell myself to live my own adventure.  The rest of you can just rot for all I care.

But I won't. :)

I'd rather you guys succeed!  I'd rather you face your trials and become the heroes of your own story.  I hope you to win, too!  The world needs all the Godly champions it can get.  It needs you and I both to...


Live (Y)OUR adventure!
- E.L. Fletcher