Skip to main content

It isn't the root of ALL evil.

One of the silliest arguments I have heard is that of whether God wants his people to be rich or not.  In some "circles" of influence within the church, there are those who proclaim God wants you to be wealthy - so keep "claiming" you will be wealthy and it will eventually happen.  Then there are those who say God didn't want his people to be wealthy because wealth destroys people and should only be used to "win souls to Christ".  While both sides of the coin (no pun intended) carry a valid argument, neither is right on.  Whenever we take some portion of scripture and quote it out of context, we are in danger of believing something only "partially" true - because we lifted only one portion of what was said.  Partial truth may be truth, but it isn't the full truth - we want truth, but we want all of it.  As Jesus is talking to the crowds, he has talked about the kingdom of God being the "possession" of those who are "poor in spirit" - in other words - needing a Savior and reaching out to receive based on their need. He has shared about the need to forgive others - staying current on life's issues rather than letting them get all wadded up in a bundle of anxiety and bitterness within.  Relationship principles have been outlined including being genuine, avoiding making wrong choices with your body, and learning to talk to God as you would a close friend.  Now we come upon this idea of not letting our treasures be those which we can amass in this life, but those which will elevate us to a new place in Christ Jesus.  It isn't Jesus' aim to instruct us to become wealthy, or to choose to give it all away - he wants us to have a right relationship with what we have been blessed with as much as he wants us to maintain a right relationship with God and others!

Don’t save treasures for yourselves here on earth. Moths and rust will destroy them. And thieves can break into your house and steal them. Instead, save your treasures in heaven, where they cannot be destroyed by moths or rust and where thieves cannot break in and steal them. Your heart will be where your treasure is. The only source of light for the body is the eye. If you look at people and want to help them, you will be full of light. But if you look at people in a selfish way, you will be full of darkness. And if the only light you have is really darkness, you have the worst kind of darkness. You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one and love the other, or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time. (Matthew 6:19-24 ERV)

Any time we allow what we "have" to become the focus of our lives rather than the people in our lives, we have a little bit of a wrong focus which will require some adjusting.  Focusing on the "stuff" instead of the people in our lives will not help us develop very strong spiritual, emotional, or even physical lives.  In recent months, I have watched my grandsons get a few more electronic toys (partly because Grandma gave them some at Christmas).  My grandsons both love to read.  They both love to create amazing things from their Lego collection, often without any instructions guiding them.  The backyard is riddled with inventions from baseballs on rope hung from a tree limb to practice batting swings, to rope and pulley system rigged to a plastic milk crate in the tree house to assist them in getting their "loot" up to their level.  They are creative and energetic.  Yet these electronic devices can rob them of their focus if they are not managed well!  I am proud of my daughter's sensitivity to this fact and her willingness to make the boys take a "device free" period of time between their use throughout the day.  She doesn't want them to become focused on the fake "reality" and forget about the real "reality" we call "living life as a family".

Although the electronic devices can be quite educational, they can also be quite alluring and consuming.  There are more "lures" in the day we live in than in days past.  I am not putting down electronics here, but anytime we choose to "socialize" through the electronic means rather than the face-to-face contact, we lose something.  Jesus isn't so much concerned by us having blessings in life we might call "riches" or "wealth", but that we don't allow any of them to detract from real riches known as relationships.  Our relationship with him is only kept in the right perspective when we give it that perspective.  Anything other than him as our main focus in life will cause something else to take on the primary place of importance in our lives.  Keep him central and all the other "stuff" in life (including our relationships with each other) will take on the right focus and become a blessing to us rather than a curse.

Is Jesus really instructing us to "hate" some things?  I don't think so - he is simply contrasting love and hate because these are two strong and opposite emotions we pretty much all understand.  When I was shopping this weekend, the man assisting me in making my selection asked a very simple question: "What are you drawn to on this wall of samples?"  I usually tell someone considering a new dress, that new set of towels for the bathroom, or even a new carpeting for their floors to be cognizant of the things your eye is first drawn toward.  It is usually "appealing" to your senses - you like what you see because it does something for you "inwardly".  I have tried decorating with the latest of colors, and even wearing a few of them on occasion, but trust me on this - I don't feel comfortable when I do.  Why?  I am not built-up by whatever it is I am trying to embrace in this new color or fad.  If we are to be truthful with each other, you would probably tell me it just doesn't "fit" who I am at the core!  I like red and black.  I wear red and black.  I like browns and blacks - I decorate with browns and blacks.  I like comfort - I decorate and wear clothes which display comfort.  

We are drawn to some things naturally - because they please something within us in a "sensual" term.  Our senses are comforted or stimulated by them. Whenever something or someone begins to bring more delight or "stimulation" to our lives than Jesus does - our focus is in need of a good "readjustment". It is as though we have need of a "vision correction" in order to get better focus. Hate what gets us out of focus - love what draws us into focus.  This is probably closer to what Jesus is saying instead of hating money and thinking it is the root of all evil.  Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo