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Money, Power and Success in This Cultural War

By Ernesto Tinajero

What is the good life? As a Christian I discover the good life arises out of times following the risen Lord Jesus. By loving God and others, I create a simple life of deep connections with those around me. Such a life remains counter cultural. For as a many Prosperity Gospel types preaching God wants for us an abundant life, comes a definition of abundance in terms of success and money.

The truth is God’s abundance comes from the quality of relationships with God and others. No bank account balance can replace the joy of a still morning in the presence of the Lord Jesus, nor can fulfilled lusts replace the glories of sharing the joy of my son and his friends dressed for Halloween and receiving sweets for simply asking. Love others and God, such is the losers creed.  

In a culture that demands life be extraordinary, such a Gospel view seems both dangerous and revolutionary. We must start new companies and admire the entrepreneur who sacrifices family, friends and God. To be grateful in all things may be Christ’s way, but we need to push beyond ourselves to be all we can be and have it all. I have seen too many people invert the Jesus saying and say it is better to have everything at the cost of your soul. Build the great towers and golf courses and slap you name to it, for to be a small God trumps bowing to the eternal God, who is love. We want to be great and we will sacrifice love with a quick blade of self-improvement, rather than end a loser.

Yet, the truth differs. The other morning in the stillness of prayer, God came upon me. As the room flooded with light and I felt a deep peace as I prayed for the well-being of myself, my family, my church, my world and yes, even my enemies. God was with me, and is with me. As I took my normal loser’s bus ride to my work, the beauty of others shown through. My eyes met others eyes in the journey in life and I again found the Lord.

I am told to be great I must bow down to money, power and success. Yet, nothing is as glorious as the stillness of knowing God and love discovering me in the small moments. Living water comes in the common cup Jesus shares. The Golden Challis meant for the wealthy may contain the most exclusive liquor, but it can’t fill us as the simple breaking of bread and the cup wine of Jesus shared life.

About Ernesto Tinajero

Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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