Greed and Other Things.

greed and other things

I’ll admit it, I can be the most extroverted person you’ll never know. In social interactions, I tend to make it all about YOU. What can I learn from you, what can I get you to tell me, what can I get you to trust me with? It sounds a little scary when I put it that way, but I mean no harm. I’m genuinely in the interest of figuring people out, finding ways I can build them up, and encouraging them toward a fulfilling life path. I’m an ENFJ. I meddle a lot. Trust me, I’m working on it…

A friend and I were talking about how we so often hear from our newer friends, “I just realized, I know NOTHING about you.” I think people like me initially give the impression, “what you see is what you get” because we try to be really friendly; and we don’t necessarily come off as being mysterious or secretive. But if I’m being totally honest, it makes me HORRIBLY uncomfortable to talk about myself. Some of you reading this may feel like that’s untrue, but just watch me next time. Call me out on it.

Anyway, I could write an entirely different post about that matter, but getting to the point… Coming from someone who’d rather talk about you than herself, this post is a little…nope, a LOT, out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is being the friend that you call to meet for coffee because YOU need help with something. But sometimes, God calls you to write instead of talk. Maybe it’s not to change the world, or even to change one other person. I think this time he’s calling me to write in order to change… ME. So I’m putting this out there. Be kind.

I’m reading Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. I just finished Prayer by him as well and I found myself  overwhelmed with the amount of applicable practices. So I took my time, meditated on the scripture referenced, and took lots of notes. If I was reading this book on PRAYER, it should, by the end of the book, have impacted my prayer life. I can’t report back fully that it has yet, but I’m definitely in process. Needless to say, I took this book very seriously and so reading it all took a REALLY long time. So when I moved on to Counterfeit Gods, I tried to read it more like I would a regular book. I knew this book was about false idols in our lives, and I’m fully aware that our entire lives are surrounded by wanting MORE–more money, things, beauty, love… But I was in the mindset that I was somehow a more well-developed human being than that. Sure, I liked all those things, but I DEFINITELY placed God in the center of my life…right?  I was just going to read through it, soak up what I could, and be done with it. But Tim Keller… gosh dang it.

I opened the book, and the FIRST idol he mentions has to do with Hollywood, fame, etc. And just guess what I am? An actress. I’ve been pursuing this for a couple years now, so I’ve had all those talks with myself–what do I really want out of this? What is my end game? How am I going to make my life and career pleasing to the Lord? Do I want to be famous? Will money change me? Will money and fame change my relationships? I came up with answers to all of these questions and convinced myself that I was justified in my response, that God would approve, and that I’m in this for all the right reasons.

Then I got to the chapter on greed. Luke 12:15 says, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” There is a lot that Keller writes about this verse, but the thing that struck me the most was when he points out that Jesus says “beware”. Why is that so important? Well, do you read Jesus telling us to beware or watch out for other sins? Do we have to watch out when we’re committing adultery? Lying? Stealing? Gossiping? No. Because most of us know that those things are inherently wrong. There’s no question about it when we’re in the middle of these acts of sin. We are fully AWARE that it is wrong. But with greed, we can fool ourselves. We’re in denial.

Just yesterday I saw this ELLE magazine article that took us inside the home that Gigi Hadid (socialite/model) grew up in. It was some ridiculous $19 million dollar mansion and as I was scrolling through the pictures I admired the view, the beautiful furniture, the kitchen, the library, and OHHH THE CLOSETS (filled with shoes). It wasn’t until this morning that I looked back on that action (and countless others) and finally admitted…

I am greedy.

If materialistic possessions were the key to happiness, wouldn’t we hear about how happy and wonderful the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are? Wouldn’t we hear more about how celebrities are just the most gracious, joyful people in the world? And sure, some of them are genuinely happy. Some celebrities are truly kind and wonderful people. But I doubt it’s because of their money. If money was the key factor in all this then we wouldn’t see all those stories about depression, suicide, drug use, rehab, alcoholism, divorce, cheating, etc.

In Prayer, Keller mentions Augustine’s famous prayer line about how we were created restless so that our hearts aren’t happy until they find rest in the Lord. If we love anything at all in this world above God, if we idolize anything above God, we will inevitably crush that object under the weight of our expectations. Truth. There is NOTHING on this earth that can possibly hold the weight of your expectations, that can help you find your purpose, or fulfill you in the way that God can.

As an actress, I have to fully acknowledge that there are no guarantees for me in this career path. It’s not just about talent. It can be about being in the right place at the right time. It can be about having the right scripts. It can be about having the right opportunities. It can be about knowing all the right people. But most of all, it’s about God’s will. It’s easy to think that booking the audition is the goal. But I cannot put my security in my next job or paycheck. It’s easy to think that I am at the mercy of casting directors, writers, network executives, producers, etc. But I cannot put my hope in their decisions. I cannot idolize anything or anyone above God. I cannot allow my greed to rule my purpose. If I do, I’ll definitely drive myself insane. And I’m already kinda crazy, so I don’t need more of that.

My blog’s name is Coffee Then Chaos. I wanted this blog to be about coffee, obviously, but also about managing the chaos (of life). I’ve written about style, food, and travelling which all in its own way hopefully helps with the chaos, but I think this is the first truly meaningful post in that direction.

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