S61P3 – From these shall we run: avarice

1 Tim. 6:9-11

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.

It always starts small.  At first, they just wanted to be a little more comfortable.  If she put in a little overtime, and he put it in a little overtime, they could get ahead on the bills and stash away some savings. Before long, they realized if they kept this up a little longer maybe they could afford to take a nice vacation, too.  After that came a series of upgrades starting with the furniture and leading to the car. Although they had the money to do things they had not been able to do before, they now spent very little time together.  The marriage suffered, and they were faced with new temptations.  The money and the things could not provide companionship, and the opportunity to stray naturally resulted from their constant separation.  They now had a lifestyle to maintain that only weakened their marriage by consequence and opened the door to chase things they never thought they would chase.

The Bible talks about money a lot.  I believe these warnings are the result of the power that money has in this world.  With enough dollars, anyone can be at your beck and call ready to serve.  The influence that a wealthy person can have over industries and governmental systems is as deep as that person’s pocketbook.  Not only that, wealth in the wrong hands can create a monstrous ego.  It can convince a man that he is all-powerful in his own right and dependent on nothing and no one else.  It is not that the Bible tells us to stay away from money.  It is that the Bible tells us not to love it. Money is a great tool that we can use to accomplish incredible things for God’s kingdom, but it is only that, a tool.  Our emotional response to it should be ambivalent.  It is not something to chase and certainly not something to worship.

If God brings us wealth, so be it.  If He chooses not to, so be it.  We do not pursue riches because we do not need them.  Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and He has unlimited storehouses in heaven waiting to be poured out for us.  Those who have a wrong relationship with money, those who love it, will be corrupted by its power.  Today’s scripture tells us that some have even walked away from the faith because of their love of money.  That is as severe as it gets.  When you are tempted to worship the dollar, run the other way.  Recognize the things that are of this world, and choose instead to pursue the things that are of God.  Father, give us the right perspective of our finances and our wealth that we would honor You with the little or the abundance which You have entrusted to us.