When I started writing this post, I hadn’t seen the recent Super Bowl ads that some people are discussing online yet, and I admit I know nothing about the company or organization who paid for the two ads that have people saying “they could have spent that $100 million by giving it to the poor instead of paying for TV ads”.
When I began writing this, I did so from just having an allergic reaction in the form of a nervous twitch in response to the “Jesus would never…” and “what a waste of money that could be spend better on…” tweets and gripes on social media.
For as long as I’ve been living in another country and a part of a few ministries I’ve secretly struggled with judgmentalism toward other people who have the resources to do as they please with and secretly thought “I knew another thing they could do with the funds instead” or “If I had that kind of money I would use it differently on some noble thing or need.”
Secretly Judging Others Who Had When I Didn’t
Early in our marriage and before my freelance years, there were people I’d prayerfully reach out to to ask if they’d partner with us and support us monthly. If I even suggested only $20/month or thereabout, and they said no, I would “notice” other things they posted on social media and wonder “how do you have the funds for that but don’t want to sow into missions?”
Back then I would have leaned on the “a little bit goes a long way” (literally; the USD to local currency basically triples your money on this end in Peru in those days) point of it all.
But God did a work in my heart where I don’t pay attention to anybody anymore in that sense.
But that is just me and I’m not projecting that motive on anyone else other than to say it’s easy to criticize other people when I’m not in their shoes and remind myself to “stay in my lane” knowing I will give an account for whatever I did and didn’t do with my time and resources one day.
But I’m not saying Scripture doesn’t speak to one’s motives…
“Why Such Waste?”
People saying “Jesus would never spend $100 million on ads!” or on some other thing might do well to remember He reigns from a place where the pavement is made of gold, and that he owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills, and does other things that would offend people into burying him under a pile of folding chairs if we were really honest with ourselves.
“Why such waste?” is hardly a new complaint and it was made toward Jesus himself.
The religious people of his day got mad that a disreputable woman broke open an expensive bottle of perfume to wipe his feet with and complained “this could have been sold and the money and given it to the poor.”
In John’s account of it in chapter 12 of his Gospel, Judas is the only one mentioned and the text states he said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief.
In Mark 14, in what appears to be a different account but similar story, there are several people complaining while a woman pours expensive perfume on Jesus’ head as opposed to his feet. Then in verse 10, Judas dashes off to the chief priests to work out a deal to betray Jesus to them for money.
Things that make you go hmmm…
Again, I know nothing of these ad sponsors or whether I’d be on board with what they do and stand for and that’s not the specific thing I’m speaking toward. I’m just reacting to armchair critics are always experts at how and where people with money should spend it, including and perhaps more with more ire directed toward Christians, which such critics otherwise spend their time championing things Jesus would not and does not approve of according to Scripture.
Nothing new under the sun.