There are a lot of people who want or want to be a lot of things. And I am no different.
Some people want power. Some people want to be famous. While others want money and to be wealthy. I struggle with wanting these “wants” too. But for me, I have always thought they have conflicted with my faith and the teachings of Jesus. So, placing my faith first I am working on being humble, content and grateful.
Notice the lines above are written in the present tense. I am “struggling.” “I am working.” This is an almost daily battle. But I wonder if there is not a faithful and more Christ-like way to fill these same desires. I wonder if these desires themselves are not good and right, but that the most common avenue for satisfying these wants is misdirected and loaded with deception.
You see, if I had power, fame or money I would want to be different than most who possess these things. Of course my view of those who have these “resources” is skewed. I often think they are exclusive or reclusive people who don’t hang out with average (or less than average) people and they are rarely generous with what they have (except for the tax breaks). It’s as if they believe their own press releases and look to foster the hype that makes them powerful, famous or wealthy.
But instead of wanting power, fame or money, I wonder if a God honoring version of power, fame and money isn't “influence.”
Wanting to be powerful seems inherently counter to being humble and a servant.
Wanting fame smacks of selfishness and pride.
Wanting money is greed.
But what about wanting to be influential? Is there anything wrong with that? Is there anything anti-biblical with this desire?
Jesus was not powerful in the eyes of 1st century Palestinian cultrue. Although he had some notoriety, I would not call it "fame" per se, because most of it seems to have been mere curiosity or self-interested groupies. And certainly Jesus was anything but flush with cash.
All the while, no one would ever deny the influence he had on his disciples, Judea and the rest of the world.
One time while on Meet The Press Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church said, “The purpose of influence is to speak up for people who have no influence.” He says it here too.
Influence for the sake of others, for the sake of service and for the sake of the Kingdom of God?
This is what I want.