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Money and Cost – A Preacher’s Position on a Judge’s Statement

IMG_7154Jared Fogle, the ex-spokesperson for Subway, was sentenced for his heinous crimes against children. I did not think that I could be shocked farther by this situation after I read about the crimes in which he was accused and later confessed to, but I was mistaken. This article is not going to be about Fogle and his crimes. You do not need me to tell you how horrific they are. I want to focus on one phrase the judge uttered to Fogle that should score on all of our immorality meters as well, but sadly, I doubted if it even raised eyebrows. This phrase speaks to our culture and leads to many of its ills.

Fogle gave a statement during his sentence hearing. He showed remorse, said he was sorry, and probably whatever else his lawyer(s) instructed him to say to gain sympathy from the judge. At one point, Fogle laments what his crimes has done to his family. He discussed how he hates what his two children will have to face because of him, and how he hates that his wife will now be a single mother. Then the judge steps in and says, “You gave your wife $7 million though, so she’ll be fine.”

“You gave your wife $7 million though, so she’ll be fine.” That statement defines one of the major issues and major flaws facing our culture. We focus so much on money, we often misunderstand the cost. Money is everything in society. This woman has money, so she will be ok. It doesn’t matter what has occurred or will occur in her life because of the acts of her husband. She has money.

This wife has been disgraced. She will face, “did you know/help him?” questions forever and a day. She will have to explain this to her young children, probably more than once. Her family didn’t just fall a part, it exploded with the discovery of her husband’s monstrous actions. Her children will have to face school and their community being the children of not just the goofy Subway guy, but a man who committed unspeakable evil. In all of this, the judge states the wife will be fine because she got paid. She talked about money, not understanding the cost. We think big money solves all our problems. That is just not trueThis wife, even with that massive amount of cash, will have to fight and pray and hope and pray and strive and pray and cry and pray, just to hope to be fine some day, but we, still, boil all things down to money. Just watch news coverage of major issues. It always returns to money.

The Syrian refugee crisis: we can’t afford veteran benefits. How can we afford them? Immigration: the people that support illegals gaining citizenship, talk about how much money they create and spend in the economy. The folks that want to deport all illegals, discuss the drain they are on American resources, but both sides boil the issue down to money. Abortion: pro-choice discuss the cost of these unwanted babies upon a society that will have to care for them because the parents do not want these children. Pro-life speak to the wealth these unborn could create if they were allowed to live and produce in society. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. We take these complex issues and in the end, boil them down to dollar signs.

We need to wake up! Money and cost are not synonyms. $7 million dollars is not worth as much as a strong, committed, loving, complete family unit. Fogle’s children would benefit more from a biblical family than they will from this cash. We need to realize that these and other complex issues are about people. They are about God. They are about right and wrong, ethical and unethical, good and evil…not numbers and ledgers.

This has even seeped into churches and Christianity. If I hear one more sermon from a preacher telling people how to be faithful so they can pay off their credit cards, I just might scream. Faith in Almighty God will bring so many blessings into your life, and provision just might be the least of them. Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. These are some of the blessings Jesus shares that come with a faithful life: heaven, comfort, immorality removed, mercy, adopted into God’s family, seeing God, and heaven promised again. These are just a few of the blessings from a faithful life found in God’s word.

We need to realize that money is not the center of life or the center of every issue. When we do, we will be in a better position to handle the complexity of life and the depth of the problems we face.

Do not just look at the dollar signs. Do not only look to see if the ink is red or black. Let’s look at the cost of not doing what is right and what is moral. Fogle did not do what was moral. His family will pay for his sins, and I imagine that money will be a small comfort, if it is a comfort at all.

Education: let’s not look at the money and the raising of taxes that it would take to improve our schools. Let’s look at the cost of giving our children, our future, a mediocre education. Wage gap: let’s stop looking at the difference in a man and woman’s salary for the same job and examine the cost to our communities, families, relationships, and collective self-esteem for allowing this mindset to exist that created the wage gap. Voting: let’s not look at the money it would take to put voting machines and election supervisors in Puerto Rico, America Samoa, and other U.S. Territories, and let’s examine what does it cost our collective morality that we have American Citizens without a voice in our government. Wasn’t that one of the big deals in the American Revolution?

$7 million, so she should be ok. That is looking at the money, not at the cost.

Let’s become more as a society. Let’s look at what it costs when we compromise what is right, what is just, what is moral. Let’s seek to do what makes the most sense, not the most cents. As long as dollars drive our morals, we will be going down the wrong road. Let’s see the difference between money and cost. Let’s rise up to the more important thing.

Preacher Jesse

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