F-You Money and the Gospel

By Paul Koch

The concept of F-You Money flows from a new take on the American dream.  No longer is it simply about climbing the social-economic ladder to achieve a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. It’s not merely about doing better than your parents did or setting up your own children to have a better life than you. F-You Money is about being free to give your boss the finger, to quit and walk out without any sacrifice to your lifestyle. It means you are not beholden to another for your time. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to do it, period.

Nassim Taleb speaks about the power of such a position throughout his works. In commenting on the Republican primaries, he noted that he could tell early on that Trump was going to win the nomination for he was the only one on the dais that wasn’t working for someone else. He had F-You Money, and that was appealing to the voters who would love to be in such a position themselves.

Joe Rogan in an interview with Ben Shapiro on the Sunday Special added another level to this concept. When asked about why he does what he does, he said, “If you have F-You Money and you don’t say ‘F-You,’ who’s going to?” Now that is a great point. There is perhaps the reality of a benevolent F-You. You say F-You for the sake of your neighbor, because they can’t. Perhaps they aren’t in a position to do so, they don’t know how to do it, or the cost is simply too high.

In a day and age where the freedom of F-You Money is the envy of our neighbors, we in the Church have an incredible opportunity. For we already possess what they long to have.

The gift that is our Lord Jesus Christ radically changes our orientation in this world. “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:26-28).

As the fears and pressures of our day mount up, as competing bureaucracies try to divvy up our lives and control the variables, the Gospel delivers a freedom that is not dependent upon any of it. Like an independently wealthy entrepreneur, the Gospel can speak into all the situations of human depravity without being controlled by any of them. It does not need to cower in the corner or simply whisper in the darkness; it is bold, decisive, and unashamed.

But the depth of Christ’s victory goes far beyond the worries of a consumerist driven society or the sorrows of human toil. His gift is an F-You to the Law that would forbid your entry into paradise. It is an F-You to the ancient Accuser that never ceases to fling his fiery darts in your direction seeking to confuse your conscience and plague your assurance. And when you desire to save yourself, to take some credit for life and salvation, when you turn from the cross for the sake of personal glory, the Gospel won’t let you. It reminds you that you have spiritual F-You Money, and so you live out of freedom rather than compulsion.

But perhaps the greatest thing to remember is that there is a benevolent component to this. In fact, this gift drives us into the lives one another. After all, what is the point of F-You Money if you don’t say F-You?

You who have received the gifts of Christ, you who walk in the assurance of an eternal life that rests solely on the merits of our Lord can speak that gift into the life of another. When the law claws and tears at the heart of your neighbor, when the world would have them find their own redemption, when the Satan causes doubt and fear, you can say F-You to it all on their behalf. In fact, you can shout it from the housetops.

One thought on “F-You Money and the Gospel

  1. “F-You Money and the Gospel?” There is never a shortage of creative titles posted on this blog. Of course, after all, this is a Lutheran site, and young Lutheran pastors nowadays should never be confused with the old timers of the LCMS, who were more guarded in their speech and measured their words more carefully. And we must remember that Martin Luther, although brilliant, was direct, formidable, agitated, and often vulgar himself. Maybe it was because of the beer he allegedly consumed in large quantities. And aside from his anti-Semitic rants and insults, which he aimed like darts at his many enemies, he still managed to start a much needed Reformation. We get the point of this article, and how it ties into the Gospel. The punch line was viable, but the delivery was too crass and vulgar. You can do better.

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