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August 24, 2007 / beidson

The Ring and Sting of Bling

For most people, getting rich will be a “problem” they never have to deal with, despite what dreams of affluence they may have. It’s easy for most of us to point the finger at others when we read verses like Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have . . .” but in reality, this verse speaks to us “poor” folk in more ways than we might imagine.

Sure, many of us have probably never had to decide what kind of sports car we should purchase, or which beach we would like to build our summer getaway on. But does this mean that our lives are free from the love of money, just because we are free from the abundance of it?
The love of money manifests itself in many practical ways, perhaps more so than it does in the extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous. From maximizing wardrobe options, to dressing up the home, to pimpin’ up the automobile, the desire for money rules many a man and woman. And lest we be decieved that it does not seek to lay claim on our hearts, consider some more Scripture:
Jesus said in Luke 12:15, “Take care, and be on your gaurd against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

And he says in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” and so we are to lay up treasure in heaven, so that our hearts will follow.
But what about us who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet, who, all the while, believe we are obeying God’s will for our lives? Surely we are not laying up treasures on earth, when our bank accounts never see 4-digits. Well perhaps we aren’t car shopping or trying to move up in the neigborhood, but that doesn’t mean we have obeyed Scripture. What about that new book you can’t get off your mind, or that gray shirt that would look so good with your new pants? Or what about that new piece of furniture you’ve been wanting to spruce up your place? And even worse, what ought we to think about the husband who pressures his wife to work more hours so that he can sleep a little easier at night? Or the wife who gets angry with her husband for not taking the promotion that could afford them a little more comfort, yet sacrifice a lot more family time?
Money is appealing because it changes things. It has power. It can manipulate and control, and it can set free and liberate. The danger is when we do not think it controls us when in fact it does. And so we work a little harder, pressure a few more people, hold back a few more dollars, and give a little less, all in the name of wise money management. But it really isn’t wise at all; it is deadly and it stems from the love of money, which is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). The man who works hard for a living is not to be condemned, only the one who lives to make money. Here is a man who believes his life consists of the abundance of books and clothes and furniture and vacations and investments, etc.
“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'” (Heb. 13:5-6). Money and possessions are fleeting; they will always leave us, if not in life, then in death. How then should we live, for Christ or for money? As for me, I will work hard to take care of my family, and God may choose to give me wealth, but I will hold loosely to it, for the Lord is my helper, not money. The Lord will never leave me nor forsake me, but earthly treasures can never boast of this. He is the treasure laid up for me in heaven, and no moth, or thief, or government agency, or financial crisis, or army of man can ever take him from me.

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