The Things We Think and Do Not Say
Can anyone identify what line this movie is from? Perhaps this line from the same movie will help, "Show me the money!" If you guessed "Jerry Maguire," you are correct.
I can't believe it was over twenty-two years ago that movie came out, but I can still see the exchange between Cuba Gooding, Jr.'s character, Ron Tidwell, and Tom Cruise's character, Jerry Maguire. Tidwell was an up and coming football player who needed an agent. Enter Jerry Maguire. However, the back story was that Maguire was losing all his clients because he was trying to live out what the line in the title of my article says. His mission was to bring back the importance of dealing with people with a more genuine humanity than his company was doing. Unfortunately, for agents and clients alike it was about "the money."
Fast forward to February 21, 2018- Scott Eblin wrote an article entitled, "Does Life Imitate Art at Goldman Sachs?" His focus was on one of Goldman Sachs employees who quit the company. The disgruntled employee was reflecting the business model that Jerry Maguire was trying to fight against. In an interview he tells how GS was always about putting money over the client. In fact, their meetings normally focused on how much more money they could get out of their clients. As well, the managing directors referred to their customers as "muppets."
Unfortunately, our culture sides far too often on the line "Show me the money" instead of standing with the common good of humanity. We collect stuff. We donate that stuff, or sell it. We build bigger and bigger homes to store all our stuff. It causes me to wonder, "What life are we imitating?" Is it about imitating "art" or life imitating Jesus?" When Jesus said, "I came to bring you abundant life," I don't believe he meant for our response to be "show me the money!"
Fast forward to April 10, 2018 — I am writing this article at the beginning of our annual stewardship campaign. You will be receiving a letter from Terry White of the Finance Ministry which so eloquently speaks to "life imitating Jesus." As well, I will be starting a sermon series this Sunday that will continue to remind us of God's call in Genesis that we have been given the task to be faithful stewards as God's children, growing in our relationship with Jesus as faithful disciples, and how the power of God's Spirit reveals how you and I make a difference in this world with our resources — time, talent, and treasures.
Congregations cannot have life abundant lives as followers of Jesus by simply thinking as the Goldman Sachs and the Roy Tidwells of the world. From the beginning of the story of God's children until today, it has always been about being caretakers (stewards) of the resources God has given us in abundance. When we place the mission God has called us to in this time and place, we focus on humanity, and how you and I make a difference in our world.
I hope you will join me the next three Sundays as we focus on our lives imitating the life of Jesus in the here and now. The title of the series is Steep Yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.