Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Deception of Money

Idol of money

Deception of Money

Money will tell you lies. It will woo you and lure you into deception. It will promise you a wonderful relationship, like a female black widow serial killer, luring you into a pit of despair before it finally destroys you.
She will whisper in your ear:
“Look at those who have more than you do.”
Proverbs 14:20 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Harold Coffin – “Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”

Ben Franklin said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”
An MIT professor did an interesting study on Olympic medalists. Who is the happiest? The Gold medalist? The Silver medalist? Or the Bronze medalist? The happiest was the Gold medalist. Of course, he won. But then it gets interesting. The second happiest was the Bronze winner and the least happy was the Silver winner. The Silver winner was comparing himself to the Gold winner and envying the gold. The Bronze medalist was comparing himself to number four who won nothing. The Bronze medalist was just glad he received a medal.

We are unhappiest when we are constantly looking at those who have more.

My two older sons went to Nairobi on a mission trip this last summer. They came back with a new contentment, a greater appreciation for what they have because they were comparing themselves to those who have nearly nothing.

Money will tell you:

“You can’t possibly have a ‘greed’ problem.”  Greedy people have lots of money and they’re never satisfied. They are always wanting more.
Jesus said, “Watch out, be on your guard against all kinds of greed…a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions.”
Did you get lots of Christmas gifts under the tree? Did those gifts lie to you? Did you think you would get more satisfaction than you did? Kameron, my five year old son opened a boat load of gifts and then asked, “Is that all?” He will play with some of his Christmas toys for a day or two and then lose them in the toy box.
Aren’t we the same way? When you get a new car you wash it every other day. And we have to ask, “Do I possess this car or does this car possess me?”

My older son had a friend who struggled with idolizing his possessions. He bought a new car and the first thing he did was reach for his keys and run a deep scratch into the paint. My son was appalled. “What are you doing?” “I’ll spend all my time worrying about getting a scratch on my new car. So, I just go ahead and put that scratch on there so I won’t have to worry about it anymore.” He was resisting the feeling of allowing a possession to possess him.

Why did Jesus say, “Watch out for greed?” Why didn’t he say, “Watch out for murder?” or “Watch out for adultery?” Greed can sneak up on you. It can grip your heart before you know it. No one gets half way into a killing and says, “Hmm, I better stop this.” No man gets halfway into adultery and says, “Hey, this isn’t my wife.” But money will lure us into thinking, “As long as there is a Bernie Madoff or a Donald Trump in the world, I’m not really greedy.”

What do we worry most about? We worry about money.

But Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”
Mother Theresa refused to believe the lies money tells: “Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God - the rest will be given.”

Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.

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