Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monopoly Afternoon

While sequestered indoors this afternoon due to the cold and wind outside, we decided to play a game of Monopoly. I really don't like games like this, that tend to go on and on and on and... Well, anyway, I and my three children decided to play. And as we played, it was interesting to me to see how the game brings out the best - and worst - in everyone who plays it.

Of course, the objective of the game is to amass the most money and property, while at the same time oppressing your opponents. And inevitably, someone will gain more wealth and property than the others, although usually in our games more out of sheer circumstances rather than due to skill or strategy. And today, that fat cat player was daughter Hannah. Our 12 year old material girl. And what effect did having those stacks of cash have on her demeanor? What was her response when one of us lesser beings landed on her property with the hotels? Sheer, unadulterated greed. She reminded us continually of how rich she was, and reveled in our misery, like when one of us had to mortgage properties to pay her off. Now, my little princess is not like this all the time. But like I said, Monopoly tends to magnify and reveal people's attitudes towards money and power. It was a good reminder that I need to be modeling for her godly and Biblical attitudes towards material things, and be teaching her in the ways of grace and stewardship and servanthood.

So what about the other two kids? Well, it did the same for them. Middle son Matt, the creative but somewhat scatter-brained 15 year old, exhibited his usual challenges with just keeping track of his money and properties. But he did OK. And the oldest Mike, being more mature and wiser, even showed grace to his opponents on a few occasions. And I guess I was somewhere in between.

Like I said, Monopoly tends to expose our attitudes towards wealth and power. So what have your experiences been playing this game?

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