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The Limitations of the Rich and Famous

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“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)


I love listening to audio books. I started listening to them so long ago that they were still on cassette, and could only be found in libraries. Several years ago, I was listening to a book about the rich and famous in Palm Springs, Florida. The opulence was amazing. Yet, the pressure was almost overwhelming. You had to wear just the right fashions, provide the right parties, and drive the right cars.


Gossip was the prime entertainment and the second greatest fear. People watched each other closely. No one wanted to be the last one to catch on to the latest fashion, and look silly. Worse, was to appear as if the money was dwindling. If you didn’t have a new luxury car in the driveway at least every other year, people talked. If you had to let one of “the help” go, and didn’t quickly replace the person, people talked. If you didn’t travel to exclusive locales on a regular basis, people talked. The pressure to perform and appear as if your acquisition of money was effortless was never ending. Any hint of failure resulted in ridicule. By the end of the tape I felt like a nobody and grateful for it.


While the lives of the rich and famous were very different from ours, there was one common denominator, illness and death. The rich could not buy their way out of cancer. They couldn’t pay someone to have their heart attack for them. “The help” could not die in their stead. In that moment, all the money in the world could not change the fact that their bodies were nothing more than a “clay jar.”


The “clay jar” is an earthen vessel that is easily broken. Inside this earthen vessel is a “treasure.” The treasure is the soul within each one of us. We were made in God’s image and were created to do great things in God’s name. The rich described in the audio book I listened to were often perceived as people who “had it all.” These were the people who had the life the rest of the world admired. In reality, their “treasure” was often smaller because it was squandered on gossip and shallow pursuits.


Today, prayerfully ponder your “clay jar.” Are you taking care of your earthen vessel? Even more importantly, are you utilizing the “treasure” within? Celebrate the gifts God has given you. You may not have the financial resources of the rich and famous, but you have other “treasure.” It is just a matter of whether you are taking advantage of it. Ask God to direct your actions and decisions so you are able to make a difference with the “treasures” you’ve received. God has made it possible for you to do great things. Don’t squander those gifts!