Someone once said, "Don't be so Heavenly minded that you are no earthly good!" Highlighting this quote might seem a bit odd in the midst of a blog that is dedicated to writing reams of Christian truth, which I am sure has bored many to tears. Yet the quote is fascinating, at least prompting this question: is that really possible? That is, is it possible to be so Heavenly minded that you are no earthly good?
History does have tale of Christians performing feats of silliness in Jesus' name that leave unbelievers scratching their heads about who really knows the truth. I once read about a group of Christians in centuries past that was convinced that Jesus was returning on a certain date. So they all sold their houses and waited upon a hill top for his return. They swallowed a difficult pill and we still wait for the Lord's return. In the news today we read that Harold Camping again predicts a specific date for the return of Christ, this time on May 21, 2011. To add to the comics I heard that several people have asked him to put his money where his mouth is and sign over his house to them since he will not need it after May 21st.
Perhaps we Christians need to be reminded to keep our feet on the ground. Even Jesus said by way of parable in Luke 16:8-9 (WEB),
His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents.
So perhaps it is possible for a Christian to lose some of their business savvy while staring at the light of glory and we need to be reminded that we can still learn from the people of this world.
For example in family devotions tonight we read the Bible... and we also read Bill Gates. Gates certainly is a business man of this world more shrewd and savvy than most. He provided 11 rules to live by in his book Business and the Speed of Thought, that I like to pull out for my teens every now and then as follows...
RULE 1 - Life is not fair; get used to it.
RULE 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3 - You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone, until you earn both.
RULE 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
RULE 5 - Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping, they called it opportunity.
RULE 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, So don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try "delousing" the clothes in your own room.
RULE 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they will ask as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
RULE 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
RULE 10 -Television is NOT real life! In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
RULE 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
So you see there may be useful things that we can learn even from the worldly wise that could be harnessed to serve the kingdom. I've noted that even the Holy Spirit borrowed from the wisdom of the worldly wise when he wrote Titus 1:12-13 (WEB), "One of them, a prophet of their own, said, 'Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons.' This testimony is true. For this cause, reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith." Of course the Holy Spirit didn't start or stop with quoting the Cretan prophets. Nor should we stop with the wisdom of Bill Gates. Perhaps one could follow the rules of Bill Gates and reap an earthly reward of millions or billions of dollars. But we Christians must return to the final and superior value of spiritual wisdom and add a final redeeming rule to Mr. Gates list.
RULE 12 - Keep one foot on the ground trusting and obeying Jesus Christ and another foot on the ground loving and giving to your fellowman and with both feet on the ground you will not fly sideways and miss Jesus when he does finally return, but instead have friends forever in Heaven.