“What Would You Do For Ten Million Dollars?”
People fantasize a lot about money. Have you ever fantasized about winning a million dollars in the lottery? Have you ever dreamed of finding a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills lying alongside the highway? How about a wealthy relative you never knew who just randomly stuck your name on his will and left you millions? A survey was taken in which this question was asked? (1) “What would you do for ten million dollars?” The results were disturbing:
3% said they would put their kids up for adoption. ( I know, if you’ve had a bad day with junior your thinking you would do that for far less than $10 million.)
4% said they would have a sex change.
6% said they would change their race
7% said they would murder a stranger
10% said they would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
16% said they would leave their spouse.
16% said they would give up their citizenship
23% said they would become a prostitute for a week or more
25% said they would abandon their families
25% said they would abandon their church
A multitude of lottery winners will sadly attest to the fact that money is a perishable commodity, ‘here today and gone tomorrow’. Money has a way of blinding our hearts. It muddies our sense of right and wrong. The craving that men feel for money can cause them to commit horrendous crimes. Some women are so starved for another dollar they willingly sacrifice their self-worth on a sex altar by selling their bodies. There is nothing a man won’t do when he is infected with overwhelming lust for money!
The love of money is certainly the root of all evil. In the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien creates a character named Gollum. He is a pitifully ugly creature, a slimy, malnourished deceitful critter. But Gollum used to be just like the other hobbits, like Frodo, Sam and Pippin. But one day Gollum found a magical, powerful ring. The ring becomes Gollum’s possession but in the end Gollum is possessed by the ring. He calls it his “precious”. The ring owns Gollum and every aspect of Gollum’s life was centered around his “precious”.
Money can become our “precious” in life. It can become our idol, the god we worship in place of the true God. It might be wise to ask ourselves: ‘What in my life controls me? What is more “precious” to me than a relationship with God and a hope of spending eternal life with Him?’
We are often deceived into believing that we would stop worrying about money if we just had more of it. More money doesn’t mean less worry. Getting more usually increases our anxiety rather than lessens it. Those who don’t have money worry about how they are going to get it. Those who have money worry about how they are going to keep it. Jesus said, “You shouldn’t worry about such things. When you are a child of the King, you have no reason to worry about those things.” If you are a child of the King, you are aware that “My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holdeth the wealth of the world in his hands.” (2)
In 1989, Bobby McFerrin’s song, Don’t worry, be happy, won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. “In your life, expect some trouble. When you worry you make it double.” The song was written in an attitude of lightheartedness.
Jesus was dead serious when he said these words in his Sermon on the Mount: “…do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (3)
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Jesus said. (4)
To find true and lasting peace in our lives we must redirect our love from money to God.
1.) The Day America Told the Truth, James Patterson and Peter Kim.
2.) A Child of the King, Harriet Buell, 1877
3.) Matthew 6:25-27
4.) Matthew 6:34
Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.