“This man should be ashamed of himself” I exclaimed as a shiny new Hummer drove up in the Calvary Chapel parking lot this Sunday shortly before the service. I immediately asked my friend Will what he thought about such obvious excess, his response continues to trouble me… It turns out Will would love to own a Hummer and he’d have no problem driving it to church.
You see Will is not only a brother in Christ, to me he embodies the true essence of Christianity. A humble, word savvy computer geek, Will is a father of two wonderful children and husband to a kind, godly wife. Will and Juliana live in a somewhat modest house, drive older cars and dress casually. Their smiling faces are awe inspiring and a mirror to their souls.
So why would Will think it’s acceptable to drive a Hummer to such a humble church? Why would he even dare to try justifying such obvious excess? The Hummer’s gas consumption alone should be enough to discourage such a godly man however, his desire to one day own and drive such a excessive vehicle is down right appalling.
I keep asking myself “How can such a righteous man want to put out such a secular message? How can Will have such disregard for God’s commands versus excess?” A short conversation with Calvary’s senior pastor revealed Will’s drive, much like that of many Christians was financial rather than purposeful. Minutes before today’s sermon, Pastor Danny Hodges shared “You shouldn’t judge a man solely by the vehicle he drives instead, you should take a look at how he’s living his life. God knows his heart, I would be curious to know what else is going on in his life.”
Will couldn’t let it go and emailed me trying to justify his wanting a Hummer. During our conversation at church I had stated I thought he was “far too humble” to drive such a excessive automobile, this obviously struck a nerve. Will wrote “Some of the most humble people I’ve met have had the most stuff and some of the most un-humble people I’ve met have had next to nothing and every variation in between”.
It seems we’re not going to find out what kind of man, or woman has the nerve to drive a Hummer to Calvary Chapel St Petersburg amidst other cars which reflect humility. I strongly believe when it comes to Christianity, you CAN judge a book by it’s cover. As Christians, we are called not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I find myself fortunate not to know many Godly men who drive luxury cars in humility. The fact is all the people I know that choose to show off with excessive cars live troubled lives and greatly struggle with their faith. Find me a Christian driving a bright yellow convertible sports car and God will likely reveal a lying, self serving hypocritical drug dealing thief…
My millionaire friend Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, the largest church in America and author of the best selling nonfiction book of all time “The Purpose Driven Life” drives an old Ford Explorer. Calvary Chapel pastor Danny Hodges drives a 1995 Suburban. I drive a Dodge mini van. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. Christ had everything yet chose a donkey.
No one is perfect, some of us are driven to worship the King of Sodom over the King of Peace but ultimately, if our hearts are in the right place, Christ will inspire us to store our treasures in Heaven rather than on earth.
About earthly wealth Jesus said to his disciples “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24)
Keeping in mind all we have is God’s and how we use it brings glory to Him, how can anyone righteously drive a car that cost so much and consumes twice as much energy as any other car on the road? The answer to that question is a simple one: You just can’t.
About those who have excessively more than the poor and are hopeful for a place in heaven Jesus said “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)
Don’t ever let greed drive you, it will surely kill you. Don’t be pretentious, it’s no coincidence Christ is found in modesty, or poverty. Jesus said “Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5)
Let’s all take a close look at our lives through other’s eyes. One important question we need to ask ourselves is: Through the car I drive, what message am-I putting out?
We thank you for this day
Thank you for all that surrounds us,
Praise you father for all that came
All that is, and that will be.
Lord we thank you for looking after us
And for guiding us each day,
Leading us to be more like you
Spreading humility everywhere.
We pray you will continue to bless our lives
Like only you can Lord,
And we ask that you bring your grace
Upon us, our friends and our families.
Thank you lord father for your ever growing splendor.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre