Sunday, June 13, 2010

Review: Travie McCoy - Billionaire ft. Bruno Mars

Travie McCoy's new song, Billionaire ft. Bruno Mars, caught my attention. Not just because it's a catchy groove, reminiscent of Sublime, but the content of the lyrics hits home for me. I must admit that I have often dreamed of becoming a billionaire, traveling the world and giving away money without a second thought. Yet, something doesn't sit right with this song for me.

It's certainly not the use of the F word, or the ambition to move up in life that bother me. And sure, it seems admirable that Travie sings about buying everyone he knows a Mercedes and adopting a bunch of children from poor countries so that he can buy them all kinds of things. But will buying "all the things I never had" really make me happy? Even if it does, that happiness will be short-lived.

True happiness can only come from Real Goods. Real Goods are the things that are inherently good; the things that are good for all humans all the time. The things in life that are otherwise known as needs. And when we ponder on this we realize how little we really need as humans. It would be great to adopt those children from Africa and buy them everything they ever wanted. But all they really may need is love, security, and knowledge to make them truly happy. Wishing to be a billionaire so you can squander all the money away spoiling your friends seems like a warped sense of altruism.

Which brings me to the reason why I like this song. It makes me think. It makes me think about my own wish to be a billionaire philanthropist. And so now I question myself, why do I need to be a billionaire in order to give to others?

The Widow’s Offering (Mark 12:41-3)

41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,j worth only a fraction of a penny.k

43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Generosity is not measured by the amount that we give. It is measured by the selflessness within our hearts. Father, your generosity is above all else and I thank you for the greatest gift ever given: your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive me for the times that I have been selfish and given less than I knew that I should have. Give me a new disposition to have the will to give all that I have. For if anyone would come after you, he must take up his cross and daily follow you! Amen.