I came across Mr. Beast’s YouTube channel by chance. Like many who live under a digital rock, I had never heard of this dude up until about a year ago. Even then, I sort of dismissed his sudden rise to YouTube fame as one of many YouTube stars who have come and gone in the past 10 years. Who remembers Ray William Johnson of =3 YouTube fame? Some would probably opine that Ray William Johnson was the YouTube “beast” of his day.
Anyway, what caught my attention with Jimmy Donaldson’s work is that Jimmy appears to be (formerly or currently) a Christian (I’ll let God determine if he’s a true Christian or if he’s just a new world order Christian in name only). He also appears to have the appearance of a benevolent philanthropist. And the reason I say it is an “appearance” is because I can only see what is his public facing persona. I cannot see his private persona or his heart from what is shown publicly. From my vantage point, it appears that he genuinely wants to help people. There is nothing wrong with that, but as Jesus warned his disciples:
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Very simply put, you cannot achieve worldly financial success while simultaneously serving God’s will. I know that it is hard to believe given the prosperity gospel which is preached by many modern mainline churches (these are all churches of Cain, not of Christ), but Jesus was clear that the two cannot co-exist because as he said, you cannot serve two masters. And yet, time and time again, I have seen countless people try this. I, myself, have tried this in the past and I am probably going to try it again in the future (hey, I am a sinner, too). And generally speaking, this has never worked for anyone that I am aware of. It always leads to some type of downfall because God’s will is almost NEVER in alignment with your own will (even if you think it is) and making money requires one to focus on the affairs of this world and not on God’s will.
What I have seen in my own attempts to fulfill both duties (making money, i.e. serving mammon, while at the same time serving God) is that usually you will end up in a situation of betrayal or a situation where you have been obstructed from carrying out your duties to both masters. Someone (or something) will betray you or create an obstacle for you and you will end up in a situation where your original intentions (make money so that you can give it away) will be futile. This is a very hard concept to explain, but King Solomon explains this very well in the book of Ecclesiastes. He describes endeavors of life as “chasing the wind”. There’s a lot to unpack here because it requires a deep understanding of the human propensity to do evil, all of the time. Not everyone has a good heart or good intentions. And usually, someone in your inner circle will bring about your downfall. Sure, you may temporarily succeed, but over the long term, I, personally, have seen great tragedies come out of situations where one person sets out to do what Jimmy Donaldson wants to do. I am not saying that he cannot eventually help the homeless, as he has indicated he wants to do, but based upon what has happened to those that went before him, sometimes those objectives might in and of itself be completely futile. It’s like pouring a glass of water into the ocean. It may not have any real impact on the problem of homelessness itself and it may lead to some form of tragedy along the way if that is what you make into a goal for your life. Don’t make philanthropy a goal, let it be a by product of your service to God’s will. If it comes, let it come naturally out of your service to the true Master in your life.
I’ll also add this: Being a philanthropist is not in and of itself any indication of Holiness or Godliness. If it was, then Jesus would have indicated this and said that this is in fact a condition of obtaining salvation. Sure, we are supposed to help the poor, but we need to be very careful here unless we end up like Judas, who pretended to care about the poor when he demanded that the perfume being placed upon Christ could have been sold to provide money for the poor.
John 12 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, that should betray him, saith, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor? 6 Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein. 7 Jesus therefore said, Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying. 8 For the poor ye have always with you; but me ye have not always.
What strikes me most about this exchange between Judas, who was possessed by Satan, and Jesus is the response that Jesus gives to Judas. He tells Judas that he will always have the poor, but you will not always have Jesus! This is very important and something for philanthropists (like myself) to keep in mind. We cannot make philanthropy our ultimate goal in life because it is not going to get you into Heaven. Also, philanthropic work has a lot of scum attached to it. Judas is a perfect example of this. In modern times, it is easy to associate philanthropy with Christianity or with Godliness. That is not always the case because philanthropy is in and of itself not always for righteousness or God’s glory. Sometimes, it is for our own glory or for the glory of others (the ones who want the praise for doing good works). A lot of times, people involved in these efforts are looking to be praised as false saviors (this is why I called animal “rescue” a cult).
So, Jimmy, if you read this: Be careful. You are in treacherous waters. There are sharks all around you and you will never know exactly who they are until it is too late. And by then, you might have spent your entire life chasing the wind.
…Check out Mr. Beast’s YouTube video below where he opened a fast food joint. Enjoy!