Someone called me up some time ago and said, "You're the only dude on the Internet who's giving his music away for free."
Well, maybe so. But I've got it from Someone Who I consider a greater and more reliable authority on happiness than those John Denver referred to as "them money-hungry fools."
You never read about Jesus charging an entrance fee for His sermon on the mount, nor did He charge for a single one of His fish sandwiches (although I'm sure He could have raked in a fortune). It just wasn't in Him.
His credo was, "Freely ye have received, freely give," and in my opinion one of the greatest disgraces about Christendom is the machine of commerce that it has been for more than 16 centuries, with no improvement in sight anywhere (at least not voluntarily).
Thank God the Antichrist is going to appear some time to put an end to all of that with his "mark of the Beast," which will divide the wheat from the chaff, anyway.
Jesus made it pretty plain what he thought of that commercialized hybrid of religion or spirituality when He chased the vendors out of the temple. Imagine Him coming to the Vatican or your average drive-in church nowadays, or the mega-temples of the star evangelists. He probably knows why he chose to appear 2000 years before things would get really sick.
Of course, nobody ever believes all that stuff He had to say about not being able to serve God and Mammon (the god of riches), and about the birds in the air and the lilies of the field, and that the heavenly father would supply all our needs, just as He does theirs, if we would only seek first His Kingdom.
"Seeking first" the Kingdom would mean that that's what you'd invest the majority of your time and efforts in, instead of raking in all the cash you can.
If you dedicate your time to serving Him and making sure that folks get His message (without having to pay a fortune for it), then, He says, He will also take care of your needs.
If you preach the Gospel and spread the Good News, then He'll make sure that you can also live off the Gospel. Of course, if you only preach to those who've heard the Gospel a thousand times or more, and they're willing to pay a fortune for your sedating sermons that will assure them they'll escape the wrath of God for our collective selfishness and greed, then you'll have good cards as far as the god of this world is concerned, and the game that he's playing, but God may think differently about that kingdom you have built for yourself.
It's called "modesty," a trait long forgotten and forlorn, and it has an even more recent hero than Jesus and His early followers, namely the Italian monk St. Francis, who bucked the tide of the religious supermarket of his day and decide to be content with little for a change.
He saw a lot of misery, but I also believe that he knew more true happiness than most other folks in his day.
One of the secrets of life is the art of not falling for every single temptation the Devil offers us along the way; it's the art of saying "No, thank you!" every once in a while, "I already have enough."
I guess some people are starting to reap the first repercussion of the "never enough" attitude that has been prevailing in our modern, enlightened Western society for the past decades. But will we really have learned the lesson when and IF the economy recovers?