All the heart throbs of my youth are suffering greatly, many with addictions, depression, suicide. Robin Williams, Tom Petty, Johnny Depp. There are many woman too, Whitney Houston for example. People who had it all and yet they were all deeply wounded, spiritually poor, broken.
Here’s a Rolling Stone article about Johnny Depp’s current situation, addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, unresolved child abuse issues, deep spiritual wounding, loneliness.
They are people who had it all, great talent, wealth, fame, reasonably good health, and yet they all have pretty much destroyed themselves. I’ve known for a long time that there is often this very fine line between madness and genius. Robin Williams for example, great comedy, but I wouldn’t want to spend two minutes in an elevator with him. He’d make me crazy with his behavior, and then my soul would just ache for him. Jim Carey is another one, brilliant and yet totally insane.
I’ve often pondered Johnny Depp, heart-throb extraordinaire, and wondered what it is that makes him so attractive? Kind of an awful revelation, but it’s his pain, it’s those dark brooding eyes, it’s the depth of sorrow in his soul. That kind of makes us metaphorical sadists if you think about it. Billions of people watching Miley Cyrus ride her wrecking ball of self-destruction for our entertainment really drove this point home to me.
I speak of Johnny Depp today because he’s having financial woes, facing bankruptcy, including bankruptcy of his soul. It’s tragic and really ironic, but a man who has received millions, perhaps even a billion, really can completely wreck his own financial train, due to spiritual wounding, generational curses, “thinking like a poor person.” Poor in this case is a reference to his soul, to his emotional well-being, to his relationship dysfunction.
Let me tell you, the world will really lay some stuff on you, and that stuff will impact every area of your life if you don’t find healing. Depp has a number of unresolved issues with his mother, a longing for male role models, a compulsion to rescue and save women in a way he could not save his own mother….or save himself. He is a perpetual peter pan becasue he is still that little boy trapped in his own sorrow, still stuck where he was first wounded.
In the Western world we tend to envy the rich and pity the poor, not understanding that our perceptions are all wrong, that how we define “wealth” and “poverty” is all skewed. Great monetary riches simply will not fix what is wrong with your soul.
Much of the envy towards the rich and the shame about being poor, the pity and disempowerment, actually comes from the relatively “poor.” It is generally the moderately working class who often look upon the homeless and think, oh that poor guy he is so oppressed, what he just needs is more money! We often fail to understand that you can pour billions into a wounded soul and not heal one bit of the spiritual poverty that afflicts them.
I have a sister who is out on the streets, one who actually gets more money every month then I do working. Her problem is not really financial, it is actually spiritual, emotional, psychological. People get cranky about that, people have this mindset that suggests it is disgusting to “blame” the poor for their condition.
It’s not blame, it’s not shaming, it’s diagnosing the nature of the disease correctly so you can treat it. Grace is something that enables us to be honest about our afflictions, to understand we are forgiven, we don’t have to hide and play the blame and shame game. It is okay to admit, I caught some stuff in the world and I made a real mess of things. That is how we heal.
I’m kind of in a unique position to observe this kind of thing. My parents both come from some pretty upper middle class backgrounds and both wound up homeless. I spent much of my life trying to rescue them, and trying to understand how you can receive so much and just lose it all. They had good educations, they were smart people, they had talent, they inherited money, and yet due to wounding in their own souls they wound up with nothing.
I grew up with them in their brokenness and their poverty mindset. I heard the words about how the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” and how victimized and oppressed we all are, how nobody can ever get ahead in the world, and it didn’t make any sense to me because these were people who made really poor choices, over and over again.
They made poor choices in order to validate their own narratives, in order to walk in that sense of persecution, of victimhood, in order to avoid confronting their own pain. My father has since passed away, but when we are united again, I have a feeling he will agree with me. He will agree with me and we will laugh at the human condition, at the absurdity of it all.
From them I inherited a great deal of financial wounding of my own, of spiritual affliction, of confusion about money and finances. It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of healing to recover. There were, sometimes there still are, these embedded deceptions, these lies in my spirit that come up. The world is just plumb full of them, too.
The world today, the politics and the culture, does not like us to take note of the relationship between our finances and our spiritual health. We misunderstand, we fear the implication that wealth will soon be equated with morality and spiritual well-being and poverty will be perceived as a great moral failing. In the process of attempting to resist that narrative, we actually write it, we project it, we inflict it on other people.
In the US where we often have electricity and hot running water, we are rich, we are blessed. We are living lives that are more privileged than the kings and queens of old could ever dream of. If we have salvation, grace, the riches of His kingdom, then we are immeasurably blessed, we have more riches and abundance then we can ever hope to avail ourselves of. We have inherited a kingdom as sons and daughters of the Most High.
That is what it means to “think like a rich person.”
King Solomon, richest man in the world, wisest man too, eventually lost it all. Take heart if you’ve ever done the same, there is point to that story, a truth being revealed to you.
I don’t believe the Lord wants us to be poor at all, I believe He is trying to tell us to pay attention to where your heart is, because that’s where your treasure will be, too. The Lord is trying to bless us with some wisdom about what it means to truly inherit the riches of His glory, of how to stop “thinking like a poor person.”
King Solomon thought like a poor person. He never had enough, not enough wealth, not enough wisdom, and not enough women. He chased what he thought would fulfill him and he wound up with nothing, with complete nihilism, with the realization that it is all just vanity.
A bit like the state of being Johnny Depp now finds himself in.