The Upside Down Kingdom The main point of Kraybill’s, The Upside Down Kingdom is to make the readers understand that in God’s kingdom, the world is turned upside down. Kraybill is saying that the people who live at the top of the pyramid such as wealthy, and powerful people who are not humble, will live at the bottom of the pyramid in God’s kingdom. We need to help the poor, and the hungry. A few chapters that support Kraybill’s thesis are chapters one, six, and eleven. Chapter one, Down is Up, Kraybill emphasizes that the Kingdom of God, down is up.
The people that think they are top of the food chain in the world like the wealthy and other powerful people are going to be in the completely opposite part of the world in God’s kingdom. “We can capture the idea of inversion by thinking of two ladders side by side- one representing the Kingdom of God, the other the Kingdom of this world” (pgs 16-17). In chapter six, Luxurious Poverty, Kraybill states “An obsession with possessions enslaves us to the demon of worry” (pg. 102). This means that the Jesus despises greed because there are dangers in having too much property and wealth.
Material things and money can become a distraction and can cause us to replace God in our priorities. In the Upside Down Kingdom, a man’s wealth will be measured by the love, mercy and compassion he has for the poor and hungry, not by his possessions or money he has. This is a reminder that we should all humble ourselves and be blessed that we have the opportunity to help others instead of being greedy by celebrating your wealth for our own benefit. In chapter 11, Low is High, Kraybill talks about the four major types of power flow from our resources: Financial power, expert power, organizational power and personal power.
A person that poses any of these powers is able to make things happen in our world today. These people can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives and they can abuse their power or use their power wisely and help those who are powerless. Kraybill says, “ In the upside-down kingdom greatness isn’t measured by how much power we exercise over others. Upside-down prestige isn’t calculated by the height of our rung on the social ladder. In God’s inverted kingdom, greatness is signified by our willingness to serve. Service to others becomes the yardstick of stature in the new kingdom” (pg 229).
One question the book raised for me is how do we know when we helped enough to be saved and live in God’s kingdom? Kraybill emphasizes the importance of being humble and help the needy. In my life, I have helped others in need and fed the hungry, but I don’t do this every chance I get. We are never going to know how much we should help others, but it would be nice if we did. Another question this book raised is if we are truly helping those in need by giving them the things they need or are we just giving them more of a reason to ask for stuff?
The reason why I ask this question is because some people choose to live like they don’t have any money or food, but in reality, they do have food and money. They chose to live that lifestyle. Some people who are poor and hungry have won the lottery and in a couple of years they spent all the money and put themselves in that situation. Are we going to get the same amount of credit for helping them when they are in need, even though they put themselves in that situation? This when we just let God be the judge of that. He knows out intentions and He will deal with them when the time comes.