Poor Boy, More Boy
November 20, 2010
How are you guys doing today? I want to say hi to the balcony people. Balcony people! Yes! I want to say hi to all of our satellites, one church in multiple locations. I want to say a big shout out to those people in Downtown Dallas, also Fort Worth, Plano, Miami, and many who will watch this online at www.FellowshipChurch.com and also this will be shown on world-wide television, pretty much all over the place. So it’s good to have you guys.
Well, the first time I ever came in contact with this mentality my family and I vacationed at a spot in North Carolina called Holden Beach. I was seven years old. I had not been around the ocean that much during that time of my life. The sunset and someone suggested, “Hey, let’s go crab hunting!” I thought, crab hunting! We got some nets and some buckets and some flashlights and we hit the beach. And we would shine the lights. And it’s like it was just yesterday. I can see these giant crabs emerging from the surf, trying to find their crab holes. And we would chase them down, put a net over them. They’d be all crazy-acting, trying to pinch us. And we would take the crab from the net, put it in the bucket, and this happened time and time again. Someone said, “Ed, carry the crab bucket.” So I’m carrying the crab bucket like this at night, running down the beach. And I can hear those crabs fighting amongst themselves. It was just kind of like, woooo! One of those feelings!
The rains came, the winds hit, and as the winds blew I could feel the sand stinging my legs and my arms and my face so we said, “Hey, let’s go home.” So we made it to our little cottage, put the buckets down in the kitchen, and for the first time I got a good luck at these crustaceans. Whoa! Those things are big. Have you ever looked at a crab? They’re weird creatures, man. They’re strong. It’s almost impossible to kill a crab. Crabs are everywhere. I look and when the crabs begin to crawl out, and I thought, he’s gonna get out of the bucket! But once he got two to three legs up over his friends, and once he curled his little legs over the edge, about four crabs with their claws grabbed him and pulled him down. I felt sorry for him. I saw this happen over and over again. One crab would begin to climb out, and once he began to get above the others, the others would grab him and pull him down. That’s the first time I ever came in contact with the poverty mentality. Someone rises up, someone is blessed, someone gets a leg up or whatever, we want to pull them down.
The poverty mentality is an attitude of ineptitude that leads to ingratitude. It focuses on what we lack, not what we can leverage. The poverty mentality. If this is your first time to Fellowship Church, I’ve been in a series called Poor Boy, making poverty history. And let me give you a quick review because it’s important to know where we’re going in today’s session.
During the first session I talked about basically what is the poverty mentality. I said the poverty mentality is a spiritual issue. It’s not a financial issue, it’s not a marital issue. I mean, yeah, it promotes itself in those areas corporately, educationally, but it’s not really that. It’s a spiritual condition, a condition of the heart. Materialism is a spiritual issue. Because I ask you, what constituted materialism? What address? What model and make of a car? What size diamond? What vacation destination makes someone materialistic? Answer: You don’t know. It’s a moving target. It’s a spiritual issue. The poverty mentality.
Also, we said the poverty mentality is about domination and incarceration. We have a choice in life. We either submit our stuff to God or substitute our stuff for God. When we substitute our stuff for God, when we chase stuff, power, possessions and pleasure, those things we end up chasing incarcerate us, dominate us, and limit us. I’m talking about the poverty mentality. The poverty mentality is fueled by guilt. The poverty mentality wants people to think we paid less for a particular item. The poverty mentality is always looking to others, always comparing, always saying shoulda-coulda-woulda.
“Must be nice.”
“I got it on sale.” Poverty mentality. Sometimes the poverty mentality is fueled even by pride. We want people to think we paid more for something. We want people to think, “Oh yeah, I’m the man, I’m the girl. I’m a self-made person.”
We also learned that the poverty mentality blocks the blessings of God. God wants to bless your life and mine, he really does. For God not to bless us when we’re obedient to him would be for God to go against his nature. We don’t follow him for the blessings, we follow him because it’s the right thing to do. Because we’re wired for worship, we’re wired to follow him, but we will get blessed. That was session one. That’s what the poverty mentality is.
Session two we went into what it does. What does the poverty mentality do? What happens when you or when someone else gets into this mentality?
I thought about my own life. Here’s what happens when I am in the poverty mentality. I fail to see opportunities. You show me somebody who doesn’t leap on opportunities I will show you somebody who is living in the poverty mentality. Because they are so concerned about what others have, they’re so criticizing others and they’re not materializing their own stuff and their own favor that God has blessed them with.
Also, the poverty mentality dams up the flow. God wants us to get into the current, the flow. He wants us to move and groove and he wants us to be a generous person. Because the more generosity we have, the greater our capacity. So the more generous, the greater our capacity.
And when I’m in the poverty mentality I just dam up the flow, I’m just stopping the flow in people’s lives, and specifically I’m stopping it in mine.
The poverty mentality is all about creating diversions. “I don’t want to the spotlight on me, on my greed, on my envy, on my materialism, so I will just put it on someone else. I will just point the finger at them because it gets it off of me and onto them, and for some reason I feel better about myself when I can drag them down to my level.”
The poverty mentality is also about snapshots. When I’m in the poverty mentality I will take a snapshot of someone and I will not think about, though, the movie of their life. I will just take one photo out of the photo album and build my theology about them based on that one photo as opposed to looking at the whole thing. It’s crazy how prevalent the poverty mentality is. Money is neutral, marriage is neutral, our careers are neutral, and our abilities are neutral. You’ve got neutrality going on. When we put the spirit of poverty on it we drive those things that God has given us into the ground. Or when we put the more-boy mentality into it, we take them up to the level that God wants us to live on. Whoo! That’s the review. I got tired even talking about that.
T.S. Well today, we’re gonna talk about something positive. The first two sessions were kind of negative, but they had to be for us to understand what it is and what it does. Today, though, we’re gonna talk about something that is revolutionary, something that is very, very positive. We’re talking about transformation. We’re talking about leaving the poor boy mentality and living in the more-boy mentality. The more mentality.
What’s the more mentality? The more mentality is an attitude of gratitude that will take us to another altitude. It’s when we focus on what we have, on what we can leverage, versus what we lack. Are you doing that? Or are you involved in stinking thinking? Stinking thinking will give you some serious B.O. It’ll give the body of Christ B.O., if you have this poverty mentality or when I have this poverty mentality. So let’s see what we can do to transform our lives.
Romans 12:1-2, it says that we can be transformed. The word transformation, it’s where we get the word metamorphosis from. By the power of God we can transform our minds. We can move from the poverty mentality to the more-boy mentality, to the abundant life mentality. How do we do that? It’s by thinking.
If I think right, I’m gonna feel right. If I feel right, I’m gonna act right. If I think wrong, I’m gonna feel wrong. If I feel wrong, I’m gonna act wrong. It’s time to think on the things that God desires, because we serve a God of the more.
“Well prove it to me, Ed!” Take your Bibles and turn to Ephesians 3:20-21. While you’re turning there, just pinch somebody and say, “You look like a crab, you need this.” Singles will love this! “You look like a crab.”
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more…” (say ‘more’ with me)… “than all we ask or imagine, according to his power (not mine) who is at work within us.”
Let me stop here. Say ‘work’ with me. Work. Say, ‘Let’s do work!’ The gospel is all about work. Jesus did the work on the cross for your sins and mine. When we receive what we did, his work, when we make that grace reception, we’re believers. As we live our lives once we become believers we’re simply workout OUT what Jesus has worked IN. So Jesus is looking at you and me and he’s saying, “Do work. Do work.”
“So now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church…” In the church, in the church, in the church! As I’ve said so many times if you’re not a member of a Bible-teaching, Bible-believing church, if you’re not actively involved and engaged in the church, you’ll never discover the more mentality. You’ll never discover your blessings. You’ll never discover how to leverage them; you’ll never discover this attitude of gratitude that will take you to another altitude, unless you’re involved in the church. Ninety-five percent of the time when the word church is used in the new testament it referred to a specific local church.
“So to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.” I like that. Amen. Don’t you? Amen. A-men! Amen. Amen means, “so let it be.” That’s what amen means.
So here’s the first thing we can do to transform our stinking thinking, to move from the poor boy to the more boy. Are you ready for it? Take responsibility for your blessings. Don’t we live in a victim culture? Don’t we live in a poor, pitiful me culture? Don’t we live in a culture that says, “I want something for nothing. I want a handout. Yeah, I’m 22 years old, I want to live in the same house, drive the same car my parents do.” Entitlement. It’s unreal. We have this same condition spiritually. “Oh yeah, I’m the man!” it’s this victim mentality.
Well God says, “All right. You have this blessed life, you’re living in the zone, leverage those blessings for my kingdom.”
Well, we look at John 12, this chapter that we’ve been wearing out in this series. John 12, the Wikipedia, you’ve got Jesus on the way to the cross. You have him stopping by Bethany at a very wealthy friend’s house that he healed from leprosy, named Simon. Lazarus is in the house, the guy that Jesus brought back from the dead. Martha is in the house, Lazarus’ sister. Mary is in the house, Lazarus’ sister. The disciples are in the house. The Jewish people are in the house, Jesus is in the house. So it’s a par-tay! And you have Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Every time we sees Jesus she is always sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Are you sitting at the feet of Jesus? If you want the more mentality, if you want this stuff, the blessed life, take responsibility for your life. Don’t substitute your stuff for God; submit your stuff to God. That’s what Mary was doing. Mary had a lot of money. How do we know it? She had a bottle of perfume that cost a year’s salary. She took this alabaster box and the Bible says she broke it and poured it on the feet of Jesus, anointing him prior to his burial.
John 12:3. “Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume. She poured the perfume on Christ’s feet. She wiped his feet with her hair and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house.”
Mary. You talk about the more mentality? Mary. Once you pour it out you can’t get it back. Once it’s broken you can’t fix it. She just poured out her life, she poured out her generosity at the feet of Jesus. Are you living in that flow? Are you pouring your life out at the feet of Jesus? The more you pour out, the greater your capacity.
Are you taking responsibility for your blessings or are you wasting so much time calling people’s lives a waste when you’re wasting the blessings of God?
Because you have Judas, who’s talking about the waste. Judas, you know Judas, the one who betrayed Jesus. He was in the house. Judas, kind of at a distance, began to point at Mary, began to say, “I can’t believe you did that. We can take that perfume and put it on Craig’s list, sell it, make money, and give the money to the poor.” Judas had a poor boy mentality. You talk about the poor, Judas? What are you doing for the poor? Nothing. I’m just robbing the offering bags of Jesus.
See, Judas, that’s the oldest trick in the book. The Poor boy card. “Oh, we could give that money to the poor.” We drive by someone’s house, “If I had that kind of house I’d sell it and give it to the poor.” No you wouldn’t.
“Oh if I had that car I’d just sell it and give the money to the poor. What a waste!” Please, please! You just want to get the spotlight off of your envy and your greed and onto somebody else, and you want to point out the waste in their life while you’re wasting your life and wasting the blessings of God.
So Mary, read here, is a giver, Judas a getter. Getters always hate on givers. Givers never criticize givers. I’ve never met a critically generous person. You won’t meet them, because they’re in the flow.
Illus: The other day I was fishing in Florida in a little boat, about a 16-footer. I was with a friend of mine named Richard. Richard is 19 years old. And we were out there in the shallow water and all of a sudden I heard this sound and this boat just flew right by us. And the wake, wow! That rocked us. And Richard goes, “Ed, that was Jimmy Johnson in his boat. Coach Jimmy Johnson.” He went by so fast I couldn’t tell it was Jimmy. I couldn’t see that weird expression he does. I couldn’t see that comb-over, that helmet visor hair of his, I couldn’t see it! Now for me to be able to see it, I’d have to be in a boat going 80 miles an hour, side by side with Jimmy, then I could see Jimmy.
Who are you; who am I to hate on somebody when they’re flying by in the current of the flow of God? Who are we to criticize them when we’re not even going that fast, when we’re not even pouring our lives out, like Mary? Don’t put your Judas junk in my trunk. Don’t! That’s a good thing for all of us to say. Take responsibility for your blessings.
I love this. “The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house.” The last part of verse 3.
People say it all the time as they visit Fellowship Church from all over the world now. They go, “Fellowship just has a sweetness about it. There’s just an aroma about Fellowship Church.” And you know what, it’s the fragrance of your generosity, church. It’s the fragrance of the more-boy mentality.
Have you ever had like, B.O., and tried to (this is kinda gross) but tried to put cologne or perfume over it to try to cancel out the smell? Am I the only one who has ever done that? Come on, raise your hands! I know you do! We’ve all done that! It doesn’t work! You still smell funky. It smells weird, kind of, “Wow, what is that?” You know?
That’s what Judas was doing. Here you’ve got Mary, smelling like this sweet fragrance of super expensive and exclusive perfume, pure smell, what a fragrance. And then you’ve got Judas over there hating on her, playing the poor boy card, trying to cover his B.O. with some cheap cologne. Hilarious!
“Judas Iscariot, John 12:4, one of Christ’s followers who would later turn against him was there. ‘This perfume was worth an entire year’s wages. Why…’”
Poor boys always ask the why questions but the more boys always say, “Why not?” The poor boys always say “don’t,” the more boys always say “do.” The poor boys always say “want,” the more boys always say “we will.”
“Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor? But Judas did not really care about the poor (verse 6).”
Now in verse 7, Jesus just lit him up. Jesus said, “Leave her alone! It was right for her to save this perfume for today, the day for me to be prepared for burial.”
I’m going to ask you, student. I’m gonna ask you, single adult. I’m gonna ask you, young married couple with 2.3 kids. I’ve got to ask you, Grandpa. Are you leveraging the blessings of God? Or are you so busy pointing out waste that you’re wasting your life? Mary saw the opportunity – Boom! It was now – Boom! She poured her life out. What are you waiting for?
The second thing more boys do after they take responsibility for their blessings, they befriend blessed people. They befriend blessed people. Who are you running with? How do you spell relief? Are you rubbing shoulders with the more boys or the poor boys?
Some of you are hanging out with poor boys and you need to cut them from your herd and go to the more boys. Poor boys or more boys? It’s a great question.
Proverbs 13:20 – “Spend time with the wise and you will become wise. But the friends of fools will suffer.”
It’s like my friends in the Bahamas say when you’re doing something crazy, they say, “Man you doin’ fool! You doin’ fool! Don’t be doin’ fool man!” A lot of us, relationally speaking, are doin’ fool, doin’ fool, doin’ fool! How do you spell relief?
Well let me unpack it even more. John 10: 9-10. Jesus said in this text, “I am the door.” He said basically, “I am the door of the more. If you want the more mentality, if you want the life of abundance, if you want more, you enter through me. I did work for you, it’s finished, you open your life up to me, receive me, enter through me, and here’s what’s gonna happen if you enter through the door. You’ll be saved.”
Saved from hell?
Saved from a mediocre life?
Saved from the poor boy mentality?
“Yes. You’ll be saved. Also, you’ll go in and out.”
That means you’ll be safe. The Good Shepherd is watching you.
“Also, you’ll be satisfied. You’ll find pasture.”
You see it right there in John 10. Then he said this, “The thief comes (the poor boy), the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.”
And that’s what Judas was doing. Judas was trying to steal, kill, and destroy from Mary. Mary, though, had the more boy mentality. Saved, safe, and satisfied.
So we have an option. OK, I’m either gonna be saved, safe, and satisfied or I’m gonna steal, kill, and destroy. Which one will you choose?
Then Jesus said, “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
The word abundance is perissos. The word abundance is the life of the more! He wants more in your marriage, more in your family, more in your career, more in your dreams, more in your creativity, more in your innovation, more in your discipline. More, more, more, more! Have you entered the door of the more?
Take responsibility for your blessings. Run with the runners. Spend time with the wise. Don’t hang out with the fools, slurping Hatorade.
But there’s one more, the last thing I want to tell you, how we transform our hearts and minds. It’s all about possibility. We need to speak blessings, speak blessings into and over the lives of others.
Illus: I had a pretty tumultuous childhood between the ages of 6-7 because when I was six I got attacked by a bunch of bees, like 10,000 bees. It’s a whole other story. Had I not had a shirt and pants on I would not be here today. Maybe that’s why I love honey so much. I love honey! I can just drink honey. I love honeycomb, too. Honey, oh yeah, honey’s good for you! If you have sinus problems you eat honey. It helps your sinuses. I don’t know how but it does.
Proverbs 16:24 is the bee verse. “Gracious words are like a honeycomb.” Mmmm! It’s sweet! “Sweet to the soul (sweet like Grandmama’s Kool-Aid) and healing to the bones.”
You feel broken? Broke, busted, and disgusted? Those words are like honey, like honeycomb. It’s like, “Oh I feel so good! Because someone has empowered me.”
Think about the words. Are you having a more mentality? Do you have a more boy mentality when you speak? Because this junk and funk was in Judas’ heart. That’s why he spoke with this poor boy junk. And none of the people knew that Judas would betray Jesus; no one knew. They were shocked. And after this situation Judas went and met with the religious leaders to betray our Lord.
Yet, Mary is remembered. We name our girls Mary. Mary is one of the first ones to the empty tomb. How about Judas? He took his own life. Guilt, remorse, incarceration, domination, ultimately devastation. This is a powerful text, man!
Illus: Between services I was out in the lobby talking to some people and this guy came up to me. He said, “Ed, I just want to tell you something.” He had tears in his eyes. He goes, “I want you to know that I pray for you every day. I have no idea what you go through every day, but I want you to know I’m on my knees praying for you.”
Now, he probably did not realize it, but when I heard that just a couple of minutes ago it was like, “Oh! That just put wind in my sail!”
I mean, I felt like I was going as fast as Jimmy Johnson was that day! I was thrilled! The power of words, man, the power! Like honeycomb! They’re sweet!
How do you speak to your spouse? How do you speak to your kids? How do you speak to your coworkers? How do you speak to your friends? How do you speak to your parents? What do you say when you’re texting, when you’re e-mailing?
The power, the sheer power of words. The more vocabulary or the poor vocabulary. “Gracious words are honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
What would happen, church, if we really got serious about this more mentality? What would happen, church, if we said, “God, cut my claws. Just chop my claws off. I’m tired of being a crab. I’m tired of pulling others down. I’m tired of being critical. I want the abundant life, God. I want the life of the more.”
Because when we have the life of the more, when we sit at Christ’s feet and pour our life out, we will make poverty history.
[Ed leads in closing prayer.]