Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For The Love of Money...

... is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10 KJV). This is written in the scriptures and we have heard it translated in a number of ways. Though God doesn't hate money, He hates what it does. That interpretation is the one that fits the bill the best to me. The thing is, with this understanding, the principle of the matter is still neglected. When did this love affair begin and when will you call it quits?

First establish why there is such a love of a thing that can only produce evil. It all began using the barter system. Back in the early years people bartered for goods by giving other goods or services. Some weren't as forthcoming as others and a handshake wasn't good enough. There use to be a gentlemen's agreement that is no longer in use unless you have the so called "blue blood". It came a time where people were banking that others would be naive enough to still use a handshake or a verbal agreement. With so many deals going awry, there had to be something else in place. Contracts that were notorized and witnessed was one sort of means, yet people were stiffed by those as well. Though enforceable by law, it took time to retrieve the goods that were stolen or retained. Now, there is the money factor. When money exchanged hands,or sought in zeros and decimal points, a once thought of as a bum with money, is treated with respect in hopes a monetary tip is given or at least some sort of business relationship established.

The bible states that as long as a man has money he has friends (Proverbs 14:20 KJV). The bible also speaks of those who are poor (Proverbs 19:4 KJV). Oddly enough, it is not always in a bad light because at least the poor man can be honored by good. Jesus stated that it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to make it to heaven (Matthew 19:24 NIV). With these few scriptures (even though there are more), wouldn't just these detour a believer from ever getting to the point of hoarding, obsessing, and finding ways to make even more of it?

Alright, let's get back to the love affair and where it began. It all started with school. I could say our parents but there comes a time in our lives that we will have to make our own decisions. Our parents raised us. Whether it was in the will of God becomes well known after finding what the will of God is in our own lives. Our parents can start us off as to what they believe, but in our hearts it is what we know and what God sees. This becomes well known when we are influenced by what is taught and who we associate ourselves. I recall in high school when I made known to some class mates what I believed was a comfortable salary, at the time, and the kind of career I would like to go to college for. I might as well have been booed. The comments I got back were, "That's no kind of money! You can't make big money with that kind of job! Why would you waste your time like that?" Depending on how secure you are after that display would also be a critical point whether you choose to be a lover of the mere suggestion - big money.

A mere suggestion can be as bold as a Mack truck or as flimsy as a feather. With career choices initiated in high school, it was a Mack truck! Having the lessons reiterated over and over about jobs and careers especially getting the education. College costs but once graduated the kind of money one can make and pay back any and all loans became attractive. The benefits of certain careers as opposed to others became a lure and quite enticing. Songs were made that it makes the world go round, some people got to have it - some people really need it - but you... all you have to do is this and then you will never be in need again. Can't you hear the smooth words beckoning you to come hither or has it become the norm to do?

For me the economy was never really bothersome. I was always employed having favor with my boss and didn't have many problems no matter where I was needed. I went to school for what I believed I was called to do. Then something happened. Companies started to downsize with the rise of upgraded computer software. Costs went up and spending went down. I became unemployed?!! I wasn't worried initially , all I had to do was go pound the pavement as I had done before. I am an educated woman and as I was told in high demand. Funny thing while I was busy being employed, other generations were also getting an education. The high in demand that once was is no longer. It wasn't as important that people got all of the treatment that they use to (counseling, emotional therapy, mental resources for treatment, etc). The government stopped paying for services in order to control the budget. Now what? How are my bills going to get paid? What about my car? What's going to happen to my family? Aren't these questions asked when a divorce is about to occur? Who got divorced? In this case, money left me.

My funds were depleted from my savings in no time. Friends? What friends. Family? Ha, I had one member that gave me a book entitled, "Finding the Thing That's Keeping You Down", or something like that. Was that supposed to be encouraging? Then I was told by family that I should look for janitorial jobs or fast food positions. There is no shame in that. Sure, we can say it and sound all noble but God sees my heart and it wasn't trying to be all noble. I did not struggle through school so I could flip burgers and fry chicken. Clean toilets and sweep floors with a degree? How much sense does that make? But to get that paycheck, I actually completed the application and even changed my category choices on the computer search to include food service type jobs. As is said, money is money.

Not one nibble. My utilities were shut off. My children had to move elsewhere. I was forced to accept live in positions with hardly no pay. The thought of not having was messing with my mind. Prayer? I prayed more than I ever did. Speaking the Word? It is how I know what righteousness is and the benefits thereof. I made a new confession because of that study. Worship and praise? Eh, not so much. What? This is someone's fault and I did what I was supposed to do.

Isn't that whats taught in church services? God will do what you can't. He will put His super on your natural. Well, I went to school. I applied myself and did what I was suppose to do. It is time for Him to do what the men and women of God said He was going to do. I remembered to give and it shall be given unto me... so I gave and gave and gave and gave. Where was the good measure, pressed down and shaken together? When were men going to give unto my bossom? I casted my bread out unto the waters and after many a days it will return. Well, actually how many days was that going to be? A seed will meet my need. So I was suppose to sow a seed in order for it to grow and I could reap a harvest from that seed. Alright, I found some more money to give and then the harvest - right? Well,... how long does it take for "seed money" to grow?

Yes, even in ministry the lure had seeped in and now we were listening to scripture and verse being taught to give the money up to get more of it. Is the money too attractive to resist? I cannot blame ministers for what they do. There is a pressure they endure to be charasmatic. How do they know that they did well with a message? By how many tapes and CD's are sold after every service? Couldn't they also be satisfied with the well being that God is pleased with their obedience?

Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the country, resides in the same house he had before he started his career. He raised his children in that house. I suppose it keeps him humble. He knows that he should give back and everyone has their hand out. So instead of ruining others, he gives whatever Bill Gates has given in charitable donations and tells Bill Gates to do with the donation as he sees fit. Is that the love of money or Wisdom?

Without proper employment, I thought I was going to crack up. No one would hire me and I was getting tired of trying to be upbeat for the sake of non-believers to see that my faith is still at work - they have jobs!!! I tried to concentrate on the gifts and talents God has given me and found such comfort. With the silence of not buckling under corporate pressures nor having an alarm to tell me when to go to bed and get up, I could then appreciate my relationship with God. Oddly enough, He did not interfere with what I had with money - not until I could realize what I had done (Revelation 2: 3-5 NIV).

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