Archive Poster : February 2014
In the 'Invisible Gorilla' experiment you watch a video of six people passing basketballs to each other. Three wear white shirts and three black. Your job is to count every pass from a person wearing a white shirt. Nearly 100% of people count the passes correctly. But an incredibly high 50% miss the Gorilla. That's the gorilla who walks through the action, stops in the middle, thumps his chest and then walks off again. It's because people aren't looking for dark colours. They're concentrating really hard on people wearing white. It's the way our brains work. We're really great at focusing on one thing - but not two.
Scientists speak about the Cocktail-Party effect where we're able to shut out the noise and conversation of those around us to concentrate on the person we're talking to. But we can't do it with two people. Just one. Again and again experiments debunk the myth of multitasking. Research funded by Hewlett Packard found workers distracted by emails and phone calls suffered a temporary fall in IQ twice that of marijuana smokers. All of this means we've got to focus. We've got to focus on what matters.
Surely the one entitled to our sharpest focus is God. It's why Jesus says: "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
When Jesus speaks of 'hate' it seems over the top. But his point is that only genuine love for God can exist if God is at the centre of your life. If he's not then you're rejecting Him. And rejecting God isn't like rejecting a brand of toothpaste. God made you and loves you. He wants to share eternity with you. And he carefully designed you to give him praise and glory in close, loving fellowship. Putting God second undermines our very purpose.
It's interesting that Jesus picks on money as the great distraction and problem. A recent report by Oxfam revealed a mere 85 people control $1.7 trillion in wealth, equivalent to the money owned by the bottom half of the world's population. Money represents power over others and the ability to control our environment. So much so that great wealth can even create the illusion that God is unnecessary.
But don't buy that lie. It's a very temporary fantasy. Imagine concentrating on money and utterly failing to notice that God is where the true value is.
Prayer: Dear God, please help me to not love money and all it represents. Help me to love you first in my life.
Verse "No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." Luke 16:13