Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is it better to receive or not to need?

I'm sitting in a coffee shop avoiding writing an episode of TCC Radio.

Do you think it would be better to receive a million dollars or not to ever need a million dollars?


Jan said...

Well, I have been chewing on this one for several hours now and have come up with this:

I am indifferent about receiving or not needing a million dollars. I cannot bring myself to prefer one over the other as they each have different advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you don't need it and you know you don't need it, who cares if you don't receive it? On the other hand, having received it you could suddenly find all kinds of good uses for it and so decide you really did need it after all.

What bugs me is the idea of needing a million dollars and NOT receiving it, or else receiving it after the need was so deeply ingrained that the effect of receiving the million was not enough to overcome the sense of deprivation.

I am thinking here about the 1920's depression era where lots of folks were in sore need for a protracted period. Eventually many of them got back on their feet and went on to prosper but the effects of that time of deprivation never left them. They became pathological hoarders and would hoard everything under the sun in case they ever fell on such hardship again, which they didn't. Even though they eventually had their needs realized, they never got over the sense of deprivation and desperation. It left too deep a scar.

I notice you didn't mention whether the million dollar recipient needed it before receiving it. Or whether he knew he needed it before he received it. Then I would have to ask whether or not the recipient knew he was going to get what he needed and how desperate the need actually was.


Kevl said...

Leave it to you Jan to give me a headache. :)

I'm thinking the potential recipient is an average Jane or Joe. They work a normal work week to provide for their family.

You definitely went in some directions I didn't consider.

I guess I would say that the potential recipient doesn't "need" the money. They will continue in their life as per normal without it.

So in that case would it be better to get the money or to never need it?


Kevl said...

The reason for this post is I was thinking of a conversation I had with a friend who's heavily into money.

He wondered if the things I'm doing now will provide for my retirement. He couldn't understand why that is not a huge concern for me.

I had an opportunity to work with him and probably make a large amount of money. It was going to interfere with my ministry work though. So I turned down the opportunity.

His thinking was that I could always come back to the ministry when my future was provided for. My thinking is my future is right now. I have no promise of tomorrow and I'm called to do ministry. Why would I put God's Call off so that I could be sure that I'm provided for?

I explained to him that I don't need the money. Even if I don't have a flashy car, and I won't be able to retire in a few years... God will provide.

This thinking was pretty radical in his mind. He stopped short of calling me a fool though.


Luke said...

I know my own nature. With a million dollars, my first thought is to spend spend spend. And after that, I think, I might give some to missions, I might give some here and there.

Greed would no doubt get the better of me. I would rather not have it and rely on God.

So I guess the second one. Not to need a million dollars. Which I don't.

Jan said...

Well, Kev, I'd say you made the right choice!

But you really didn't have to ask the question because it is already answered for you in Matthew 6:24-34. Most particularly 24 and 33.

(Er, sorry about the headache. :()