CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
The Love of Money
By Michael Blunk
Two days ago, I addressed over one hundred dental students at a large university. In closing, I reminded them that if their goal in life was to simply make a lot of money, own a big house, and drive a prestigious automobile, when they are old and look back upon the life they have lived, they will feel empty. The best things in life cannot be bought at an automobile dealership or a shopping mall.
Tobacco is a deadly plant. According to a well-respected European medical journal, tobacco is responsible for more deaths than any other herb. Tobacco smokers risk cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other dangerous medical disorders. There are a thousand reasons why people should not smoke tobacco. But according to the same medical journal, tobacco is also used in treating certain illnesses. As strange as this may sound, some medicines are made with tobacco. The plant that has caused the death of millions can be used to heal people, too. Tobacco is not an evil plant, but when tobacco is misused, the plant becomes a deadly threat.
We might say the same about money. Money is useful for buying food, paying the high costs of education, providing a safe and comfortable home, caring for our loved ones, providing financial assistance to those who are truly in need, and supporting missionary efforts around the world. Money certainly has many good and noble uses, but money is easily misused. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10 NKJV).
Money is not the root of evil; rather, it is the love of money that leads to envy, thievery, deception, and idolatry. Many people of modest means spend their lives dreaming of riches. It is that craving for instant wealth that motivates millions of people to waste billions of dollars on worthless lottery tickets. In some extreme cases, an unhealthy appetite for money fuels people to lie, cheat, and steal. And many wealthy people — people who have more money than they will ever use, place their trust, faith and hope in dollars instead of God. You might say that money becomes their god. As a rule, wealthy people are less generous than people of average earnings. The very people who could do so much good in the name of Jesus Christ tend to hoard their money. They are miserly. These wealthy people may think that money is a blessing, but in truth their money is more often a curse that brings about their spiritual ruin.
We commonly hear of famous celebrities who take their own lives. Upon reaching the so-called pinnacle of success, they discovered that their enormous mansions, exotic motorcars, and lavish lifestyles left them feeling empty and unfulfilled. And so, in despair, they ended their lives. Money is not a god. Money has never made anyone truly happy. But when properly handled, money can be used to accomplish much good. It is our individual attitude toward money that determines if wealth is a blessing or a curse.
Five years ago, I stopped working for a paycheck and began working for joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment. I have not missed a meal and, believe me, I am much more content today than ever before. And my life is counting for something!
I have a relative who spent his life pursuing wealth. Now that he is old, all that he has is his money and golf. Is this what life is all about? Making money and then waiting to die while swinging a golf club? What kind of life is that?
If you think money is going to make you and your family happy, I can promise yours will be a life of frustration. Please do not fall into this ridiculous trap. Your life is to focus on Jesus Christ. If you have chosen wealth and materialism to be your master, you have relegated yourself to the status of a slave. Choose Jesus, and you will be a child of God.
Image Credit: Paul Sableman; "McMansion"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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