Monday, February 26

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Today (continuing my study on Financial Freedom) we'll just take one verse, which Paul fills out for us in 3 different relationships in the next 19 verses:  Wives and Husbands, Children and Fathers, Slaves and Masters. Obviously, this is a pretty potent verse, which can teach us about even the most difficult or most initimate relationships:

Eph. 5:2 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

What does this mean, and what does it have to do with money?

Paul applies this to 3 relationships with a great power differential in that culture: the paterfamilias, the head of the household,  had complete control and authority over their wives, children, and slaves. Money is power. So this verse may have a lot to say to those with money.

It's pretty radical: serve your wife! Jen and I just watched a documentary on a Palestinian woman, an extremely successful athlete who won practically every competition. Once she married, her husband banned her from activities outside the house because her first responsibility was to "cook for me, clean for me, and do anything else I might want." And this is a pretty "liberated" context. Serve your wife?

"Husbands, serve wives. Don't anger your children, but teach them. Render service to your slaves with enthusiasm, and stop threatening them." Unheard of! Preposterous.

Why live this way? Because of Jesus. 

What did Jesus do with his power? He descended, until he was subject even to the human beings he had created. He died in order to make us holy, and adopt us into the Royal Family, so we could have all his own riches lavished on us.

Money is powerful. The Haves wield a great deal of power, in this world, over the Have-nots. Though we don't own a home, Jen and I own or have access to resources easily in the top 20% of the world, probably nearer to the top 1%. That makes us people of power.

How do we use our power, specifically the power of our resources? Do we make ourselves subject to those with less? Do we serve them? Are we willing to give everything to make their situation better, as Jesus did for us?

Uh-oh. I'm getting uncomfortable now. These questions are too searching, too deep, hit too close to home. 

Lord, only you living in me can help me to do these things. Please help me submit every part of my life--my resources--to your sovereignty, your direction. Help me, for your sake and for mine! Thank you for giving all your power and resources for our sake; help me trust you to have my back, so that I can give all my power and resources for the sake of others.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

Hey Jon--Blog looks great. I look forward to reading it in future days, and learning along with you.

Eternal Learner said...

Thanks, Nate! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!