"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." Genesis 6:8 (NIV)
It is so hard to be ourselves. It doesn't matter how independent a person is, the pressures to be in style and socially acceptable are profound. Very few people want to stand out from the crowd and be so independent that they seem weird and out of place. The best, the brightest and the strongest among us want to fit in on some level. It's natural and human.
We always pay a price to fit in. Not only is there an entry fee (what we pay to start the process of being an insider), but there are dues to pay to remain acceptable in the eyes of the crowd. The subtle tension that we all face every day of our lives is the need to be ourselves and the desire to be approved by someone else. The way we use money is a reflection of that struggle.
Noah had mastered the art of being himself in an environment that had gone completely crazy. Human wickedness had saturated human existence and the very thoughts of humans were described as having become completely evil. God regretted creating men and women. But in the midst of this rampant decadence and depravity, Noah was righteous, blameless and "walked faithfully with God." Wow! Noah must have seemed to be the weirdest man on earth! But as a result of Noah's willingness to be completely different, Noah was blessed to become the owner of all of the assets of the world. Not only was the ark that Noah built the rescue vehicle for him and his family but the ark also became the first World Bank having on it all of the world's assets in the livestock that Noah had assembled.
It's so tempting to keep up with trends and styles. But there are huge benefits available for those who can resist the trends, think for themselves and find favor with God.
"God, I want your favor. Give me the power that will enable me choosing righteousness over popularity. Amen."