“I would give it all up to have that family back.” Those words came from a multimillionaire I met.
Meeting with him seemed intimidating at first. He was a business owner, an entrepreneur, a happily-married man and by all accounts a success, but in his mind, he had failed. He failed his first wife and their children.
His confidence became arrogance.
His determination became obsession.
His single-mindedness became blindness.
He gained a pile of money, but lost his family.
It’s a sad story, sadder-still, it’s a familiar one.
This “intimidating” man was actually a broken man.
This week I finished reading the latest ESPN the Magazine, subtitled The Money Issue. I read article after article about money and those who manage millions and billions of dollars.
I followed that by watching ESPN’s 30 for 30: Broke. 30 for 30: Broke examines the harsh realities behind the great wealth and financial ruin of professional athletes, many of whom will go bankrupt soon after retirement “due to poor judgment, medical problems, greedy hangers-on and plain old bad luck.”
Those athletes had sacrificed their bodies for millions of dollars, but most of them – because of blindness – became broke.
As I have learned, compared to the majority of the world I am a very wealthy man. Having wealth can bring great joy as we find ways to share it with others, but for others greed brings sorrow and regrets.
“How sad for you who have wealth!
That’s all the comfort you’ll have.
How sad for you who are now well-fed!
It won’t help in the hunger to come.
How sad for you who are laughing it up now!
Grief and tears are on their way.” 1
Selfishness and greed can gain momentum, but fortunately so can sacrifice and godliness.
Against all odds, from God’s perspective it’s possible for the poor and vulnerable to be blessed as well as the wealthy and powerful. “This fact of God’s care and provision proves to all that no human condition excludes blessedness, that God may come to any person with his care and deliverance. God does sometimes help those who cannot, or perhaps just do not, help themselves.” 2
Mysilentscream: Please God protect us from blindness and broken values, help us to be among those blessed to bless others.
1 & 2 – Dallas Willard’s book Divine Conspiracy influenced me throughout this series.