The Super Bowl wasn’t so super this year. Not only did my team lose, it wasn’t even a fun game to watch. It was simply too one-sided.
As usual, the commercials helped to keep things interesting. But something unexpected grabbed the attention of America. Did you see it?
Joe Namath’s coat.
As quarterback for the New York Jets in the 60’s and 70’s, Namath’s fondness for fur was well known. Apparently, this 70-year-old football legend didn’t want to disappoint his fans when he tossed the coin for this year’s big game at Met Life Stadium. He reportedly bought the $3,000 coyote and fox coat just for the occasion.
Namath – or rather, Namath’s cost – immediately caused a firestorm on social media sites. In fact, before the game was over, the coat had it’s own Twitter account. Some – like PETA – hated it. But many, many others wanted a coat of their own.
The Manhattan storeowner who sold Namath the coat said business has been booming since it debuted at the Super Bowl. According to an article on NYPost.com “The publicity has helped Kaufman’s business. He said he’s had at least 30 media inquiries, made some sales Monday morning, and ‘Inside Edition’ was planning on a piece.”
Wow. The hoopla over Joe’s coat sadly demonstrates our culture’s obsession with “stuff.”
The Broncos may have gone down, but Joe’s coat went viral.
I know of another coat that caused a big uproar too. In fact, its owner’s name was also Joe. But this Joseph didn’t run down to the local furrier for his coat. It was a gift from his dad, Jacob.
Joe’s brothers were none too happy about it either. The “richly ornamented robe” incited jealousy because it reminded the brothers that their father had a favorite. And it wasn’t them. Then their jealousy turned into action and they sold Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37: 3-28). And it all started with a coat.
What is it about “stuff?” We want more. We glamorize it. We envy others’ stuff. We fight over it. We even kill for it.
Jesus knew that love of stuff would draw us away from God, that whatever we “treasure” would capture our hearts (Matthew 6:19-21) – and apparently our social media accounts. Jesus’ brother, James, bluntly described those who succumbed to earthly desires as “adulterous” and friends of the world (James 4:1-4).
Loving stuff is serious business for a believer. Left unchecked, it will determine our motives and dictate our actions. We must deal with it decisively. Here’s James prescription in bullet points (James 4:7-10):
- Submit yourself to God
- Resist the devil
- Draw near to God
- Turn from our sin (wash, purify, grieve, mourn, wail)
- Humble ourselves before God
Praise God! When we come before God in humble repentance, He will lift us up!
Self-examination time. Has a love of stuff taken God’s rightful place in our hearts? Do you “want a coat like Joe’s?” Where do you struggle?