Better a poor man who lives with integrity than a rich man who distorts right and wrong. A discerning son keeps the law, but a companion of gluttons humiliates his father. Whoever increases his wealth through excessive interest collects it for one who is kind to the poor. Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law – even his prayer is detestable. The one who leads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit what is good. A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him. When the righteous triumph, there is great rejoicing, but when the wicked come to power, people hide themselves. Prov 28:6-12 (HCSB)
It has been said it is hard to separate the fool from his money. This is true. Consider how many people who through their instantaneous fame have also realized instant fortune as well, and both are taken for granted and disappear as fast as they appear. Fame and fortune are fleeting perspectives we have about people in our world today. Consider how quickly we forget the famous from just last year or a decade ago! And as fast as the fame fades, so does the fortune they had while they were famous. Consider Michael Jackson. What did his fame and fortune bring to his life, and now that he is gone, what legacy is left behind?
What about all the professional athletes that go from the poor house to the mansions of the rich and famous almost overnight? And how many are still holding onto their fame and fortune in a few short years after they sign that contract? It is sad, but so much attention is paid to the less than 1%, who made it big, and their careers have lasted long enough to mature and they invested their fame and fortune wisely. We tend to not get reminded of the 99% who are like the wind that blows through the storm. We are awed when they first arrive but quickly forget about them shortly after they are gone.
Outside of sports where the spot light rests, consider the politicians that rise up quickly and fade as fast. Power and fame does corrupt even in politics as well. Only the seasoned and wisest politicians endure the trials and tribulations of high profile politics today. Those who come onto the scene only for selfish ambitious reasons of fame and fortune will not last. Just like pro athletes and movie or television personalities, it is “the people” that give the fame and fortune, and it is “the people” that will take it away as their eyes and ears shift away to others on the horizon. Only a very few ever make it beyond the dawn of their careers, because “the people” only will continue to follow and support the genuinely good people over time. For those who are corrupted by their instant fame and fortune, the people will tire of their foolishness and their folly.
A truly great person acts as if he is poor and humble even when he is wealthy and famous. A truly good person continues to remember what is right and what is wrong, even when he can do whatever he wants to do with his fame and fortune. A truly good person remembers his fame and fortune was a gift from God and that He expects much from those He gives much! A truly good person encourages others and inspires others through their life, and they honor and point to the author and creator of real life! A really good person will gladly give up all the fame and fortune rather than their relationship with God, or to lose their friends and family because of their notoriety and wealth. A truly good person may hire a lot of counselors and advisors, but he never decides anything about life without consulting God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word.
Who is famous today who we will remember tomorrow? Who will cause their selves to be forgotten or to become a member of the infamous? Which were godly, good men and women? Where were not?
Then He said, “What comes out of a person – that defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.” Mark 7:20-23 (HCSB)