In all aspects of life, there is a very fine line between truth and error. The vast majority of believers fail miserably in establishing let alone walking that fine line. They flounder like a fish out of water trying to figure out what it is they are supposed to do and what is not allowed. In few matters is there more confusion among God's people than in those dealing with finances. Different denominations and ministries teach everything from it being God's will that every believer be filthy rich (so they can make the church rich) to money being evil and shunned in this life.
Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange. You have what I want but for me to give it to you, I must receive something in return. There are only three basic ways this can be done; exchanging labor for what is wanted, trade something of equal value (barter) or pay for it with money. Of course in recent history, there is a fourth way to get what you want or need and that is to borrow the money (usually at a hefty interest rate).
At the heart of what the Apostle Paul was communicating in 1 Timothy 6 is the clear message that our contentment should not come from things purchased with money but rather through our relationship with God. If our contentment is based on obtaining things, logically we will either have to make more and more money or borrow more and more money to support our contentment habit. Contentment in things breeds first selfishness and then greed. Greed is the lust for having more than what is needed.
Why does a person sell out by signing away their life to someone willing to pay them handsomely for their service? Many times people do this out of need, but in due time the motivation usually switches to greed. Athletes provide a perfect example of this. Kids play baseball, football or basketball because they love the game. Those that display talent are recruited to play at a university and given a scholarship in return.
For the select few who manifest great talent, they end up getting drafted by a professional team and offered a contract to play for them. For the few years the person is physically able to perform, they many times make outlandish salaries that are more than a million dollars per year. During the time a person is under contract to the team, they are more or less function as a slave in that they must devote most of their life to conditioning, practice, travel and playing their sport.
When young kids hear of guys getting 20 million dollar contracts to play basketball or football, their motivation for playing switches from the love of the game to getting good enough to land a huge contract. Motivated by greed, they sell out and sign a deal with the devil for their body and soul The sad reality is that only a very few people ever become good enough to get one of those fancy contracts. The rest wake up one day and realize they have no skills and end up flipping burgers for a living.
I remember being at a job interview one time and being asked, point blank, if I was willing to devote 100% of my life to the company offering me the job. I flatly said NO and left. At another interview I was told that unless I loved making a bunch of money to leave. I left immediately. Day in and day out, all around the world, people are enticed by promises of wealth in exchange for their freedom and heart.
When a person crosses the line from working to earn a wage so as to pay for the needs in life to selling his life to the highest bidder; they have entered the realm that Paul spoke of in 1 Timothy 6:9 when he said; But they that will be rich fall into... The verse does not say those who want to be rich , it speaks of those who WILL to be rich. There is a huge difference between daydreaming about something vs. selling out to getting it done.
When money ceases being a medium of exchange and becomes the driving force in a person's life, they have become a slave to money which means money has become their master/god. When a person no longer has the will to trust God and live for Him, but rather sells out to making money so as to become rich; they no longer have the ability to call Jesus LORD in their life.
Covetousness is not merely wanting but is being willing to do whatever it takes to get. God forbade coveting in the Ten Commandments and He still forbids it today. Our desire should be to please God and not ourselves. Our will should be to do the Father's will and not sell out to someone dangling the prospect of making a ton of money in return for our heart. When we got born again, we confessed that Jesus was Lord and expressed our will to make Him OUR LORD. We cannot serve two masters. If Jesus is our Lord we must never allow ourselves to become slaves to anyone but Jesus Christ.
[quote]Covetousness is not merely wanting but is being willing to do whatever it takes to get. [/quote]
I'm glad you brought that up. As I read your blog, I could not help but wonder, how many Christians have compromised themselves either because they wanted to earn more money or they were afraid they would lose their jobs if they didn't.
If Jesus is truly our Lord, He will provide what we need when we need it. We do not have to kiss up to someone in order to have our needs met when we trust God. We merely need to follow Him and do our work in a manner that brings honor to God and God will certainly care for us one way or another. If we resist sin, do what is right and get passed up for promotions or even fired, we need not worry for God will simply provide for us using other means.
Dear Kirk, Great sharing. Nowaday. In this capitalistic world, people will be viewed as a fool if he does not covet for money and wealth. The most marketable books are: How to be a billionnaire? How to be an investing sage? Value Investing: Golden Rules, Growth Investing, How to get rich... . Hope that GOD's sons and daugthers will not get into this Satan's snare. Thanks for your great sharing. Shall keep in mind whenever there is struggle in my life: I want GOD. I only want GOD. Blessing. In Christ, Raymond
Kirk, yesterday I read these words and thought of your blogs:
"...a nonprofit Christian broadcaster, has come out in defense of its CEO (...), who has recently come under fire after IRS reports of his $2.5 million salary for 2010 were released."
So I was glad to come and read one. Great, as always, thank you!
Happy Sunday and God bless to you both,