How Rich and Famous Are you Aiming to Become?

Want to take a small step backward to 1984? From 1984 to 1995, there was an American television series called, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.’ This television series showcased the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous individuals at that time. Thirty-nine years ago, in 1984, I wasn’t rich or famous, and now in 2023, I’m still not either of them. The program may have inspired some viewers to fulfill their champagne wishes and caviar dreams, but champagne and caviar do not motivate me on any level.

The type of life we live as adults significantly reflects what is important to us. Doug Murren and Barb Sharin tell of the rich and famous Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel. In 1867, Nobel awoke one morning and was startled to read his own obituary in the local newspaper. He read in the paper, “Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before. He died a very rich man.”

The story of his death in the paper profoundly affected Alfred, even though it was a mistake. The reporter had confused Alfred with his older brother. It was his brother who had actually died. Yet, Nobel became determined that he would be known for something better than developing a means to kill people handily and amassing a fortune. So, Nobel initiated the Nobel Prize for scientists and writers who foster peace. Today his name is associated with peace rather than dynamite and money.

How do you sum up your life? What style of life do you live? There are obvious and easy things to say about who you are or your identity that are common to everyone. You are recognized by birth, parents and siblings, schooling, work/career, marriage, children, hobbies, residence, unique experiences, illness, etc.

Christians are to live as those who seek to set their hearts on Jesus and the example and directions that he gave us. Jesus was a traveling rabbi with a group of disciples. He had no regular place to lay his head. He was not born in a palace but in a stable. His stepfather Joseph was a carpenter, as was Jesus, until he became a rabbi.

Jesus as a rabbi from Nazareth made it clear he came to serve, not to be served. His lifestyle was one of preaching, teaching, and miraculously healing the sick, blind, deaf, diseased, crippled, and dead. He was on a mission to overcome evil with good and save all sinners by his loving sacrifice on the cross for their sins. His lifestyle was one of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. He was one with God the Father in heaven daily by prayer and obedience. He exhibited grace that is undeserved love and forgiveness towards all.

Jesus demonstrated a lifestyle of sacrificial love for the good of others. Consider Jesus lived for God the Father in Heaven, not for his comfort here on earth. He served, believed, loved, and obeyed God rather than Satan, the deceiver. He did not love the world’s enticements to become rich and famous. Instead, he feared or reverenced God more than men. His lifestyle is our example to follow.

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