I listened to a pastor preaching the other day about excess and couldn’t help but cringe. First this pastor and his wife both drive the latest model luxury SUV. They can afford private school for 6 children and multiple vacations a year. They have a chef and live in help for the home and nanny services and his wife has a personal trainer. On the day in question he drives up the street followed by his wife in another vehicle and passes by a poor carpenter on his way to church. As he rolls by the carpenter he glances at the man’s shirt and notices that he is wearing some expensive cuff links. The pastor became so incensed by the man’s attire that he spent the entire sermon on adornment. He even noted that “by the amount people return to God you must wonder if they are not robbing God to flash up themselves.”
This man bought his “knock off” links at the Chinese store for only $10.00, but the pastor had seen a similar one at his expensive designer store for about $500. The poor carpenter couldn’t afford a fraction of the luxuries of his pastor, but yet the little he did have was offensive to him.
The Cosmic Eye of God
Sometimes we are so out of touch with the daily struggles of our neighbors; and as I am writing about the pastor I include my self. When I moved back to St.Lucia a few years ago I realized that a poor neighbor would take the city bus everyday for no significant reason. I explained that she could save so much money if she consolidated her trips and made one trip or two each week. She rejected my advice and I immediately reasoned that the next time she asked me for money I would tell her off. After hearing the pastor condemn the poor man I compared myself to him. I didn’t have as much as he did, but I still had much more than my neighbor. After all, I traveled by plane every year and one could suggest that this was excessive too. The point is, keep your eyes focused on what you’re doing. Sometimes we read stories and receive sermons for other people. We’re constantly thinking of who other than ourselves some instruction, condemnation or admonition should apply to. We forget that “Therefore now there is no condemnation,” Romans 8 we forget that: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall bejudged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.Matthew 7:2
Furthermore be reminded and respectful of the anointing of others. for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? 1 Samuel 26:9