Fortune, Fame, Power, Pleasure
Built in clusters, making them appear formidable . . . and acceptable. As the idols in ancient Athens, our society is saturated with them.
Fortune. How neatly it fits our times! Its inscription at the base is bold: “Get rich.” The figure in the statue is impressive—a hardworking young executive, a clever, diligent businessman unwilling to admit the greed behind his long hours and relentless drive.
Fame. Another monument tailor-made for this twenty-first century. It reads: “Be famous.” All its figures are bowing in worship of the popularity cult . . . eagerly anticipating the day when their desire to be known, seen, quoted, applauded, and exalted will be satisfied. Young and old surround the superficial celebrity scene.
Power. Etched in the flesh of this human edifice are these words: “Take control.” These figures are capitalizing on every opportunity to seize the reins of authority and race to the top . . . regardless.
Pleasure. The fourth monument is perhaps the most familiar of all. Its message is straightforward: “Indulge yourself.” If it looks good, grab it! If it tastes good, eat it . . . drink it! If it feels good, do it!
Conspicuous by its absence is the underlying philosophy of Jesus Christ. He’s the One who taught the truth about being eternally rich through giving rather than getting. About serving others rather than ripping them off by looking out for number one. About surrendering rights rather than seizing control. About limiting your liberty out of love and saying “No” when the flesh pleads for “Yes.” You know—the whole package wrapped up in one simple statement . . .
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
No elaborate set of statues. No sculptures done in marble—not even an epitaph for the world to read. And when He died nobody cared because they were too busy building their own monuments. We still are.