Millions or More?

Did you catch yourself fantasizing last week about what you would do with 1.6 billion dollars? Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people did more than that as lottery tickets to win the largest Powerball Jackpot in history were snatched up at record pace by people believing that if they had all that money, things would be radically different for them. But as always those dreams evaporated for all but three people as news came late last week that winning tickets were sold in Tennessee, California and Florida. Instead of 1.6 billion, the three winners will split a “paltry” pre-tax payout of $528 million.

You know, I wonder how many believers also got caught up in the frenzy, wistfully dreaming of holding that massive pile of money. While certainly, extra cash would take care of any material needs a person might have, as God’s children, we must vigilantly guard our hearts, being careful not to look to money and the accumulation of things as the source of our fulfillment.

Most are familiar with the often misquoted admonition in 1 Timothy 6:10 that says “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil.” However, few know the preceding verse’s warning that “those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

While it may be easy to roll our eyes and shake our heads when we hear stories of foolish decisions, ridiculous indulgences, and questionable investments by the uber wealthy, it’s an easy thing to overlook the spiritual trap of a covetous and greedy attitude that can lie hidden in the shadowy corners of our own hearts.

As our loving and protective Shepherd, Jesus brings to light the deeper purpose for scriptures’ strong warnings against allowing our affections to dwell on the acquisition of wealth. Matthew 6:24 states “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Regardless of how high (or low) the balance in our bank account, the value (or absence) of our retirement investments, or the worth (or lack) of personal belongings and real estate, we can still subtly be lured away by an inner desire for monetary gain which Jesus clearly identifies as a form of idolatry. If not kept in check, this dangerous attitude will influence our choices, dominate our thinking, and in doing so, uproot God from His rightful place in our lives.

The remedy for this worldly view is found when we reorder our priories according to 1 Timothy 6:11 and “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” With these values fueling our pursuit of the Lord, we can confidently rest our hope, not in the promise of millions, but in the God who does immeasurably more! (Eph 3:20)

14 thoughts on “Millions or More?

  1. Malcolm Muggerridge said he never met rich person who was happy but had also never a poor person who didn’t want to be rich. The enemy works from every angle.

    1. Indeed! The enemy is crafty, and certainly not limited to just the desire for wealth. He will tempt us with all kinds of things then accuse us when we give in. We must be always vigilant and stay close to the Word of God so that we can identify what only looks good from what is really genuine and healthy.

  2. My idea of wealth is living simply and not having to think about money. Trusting God to meet our needs. Working hard and not focusing on stuff. Thanks for sharing this at Faith ‘n Friends. Blessings!

  3. Amen! If we want more now, once we get it, we will just want more then. I try (and fail) so often to live in a minimalist way. When I say I fail, I mean my attitude is wrong. The whole thing comes down to the heart. Maybe I’m getting rid of stuff in my closet, but it’s because the items don’t fit or I don’t like them anymore. It’s not because I don’t need them.

    1. I agree that what really needs to change is the attitude of our hearts. We can minimize possessions but still be just as covetous. We need to realize that our true security is never in what we own, but in WHO owns us. Thanks Charlene!

  4. Loved your post Karen. It’s easy to be selective in sharing scripture and I enjoyed the way you tied in the full scope of 1 Timothy 6:10 to shed truth on the matter. I can identify with the actions you shared to stay diligent in our walk with Christ. Seeking Him first always makes a clear path. Have a great week my friend.

  5. So true – losing perspective and banking our hope and contentment on things of this world is a certain path to disappointment. God is a great provider of our every need – it’s the wants that get us in trouble. Though … my husband did play along with teachers at school (because he didn’t want to be the only one not returning to work should they have won. Ha!). We sat down to chat and honestly couldn’t think of anything we “needed” if we should come into heaps of money. Grateful that we can look around and thank God for His enough.

  6. What a great current topic for a post !!! I saw some of this frenzy and even had a few thoughts of what if…….. But when you look at how many of those winners commit suicide or file for bankruptcy it seems like maybe it isn’t such a good thing after all. Much better for me to appreciate all that I have – wonderful family, warm house, reliable car, stocked pantry, warm, friendly and alive church and fairly good health. I’m rich after all !!!!

  7. Karen, I can totally see how people could get caught up in the excitement of the lottery. Yet, like you mentioned, our hope is in the Lord, not in a system that produces a false sense of security. Hope you have a great week. I’m visiting from Word Filled Wednesdays Linkup.

    1. Thanks for visiting Alisa. the world system is so deceptive it’s easy to get dragged into without realizing it. Thats why we need to stay close to the Word.

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