Poison Apples on the Money Tree
The New Testament (as well as the Old…see Ecclesiastes) is loaded with verses warning of the dangers of worshipping money and of the rich failing to have regard for the poor.
The reason is that the more money people have, the less they seem to trust in God. Prosperity is a double-edged sword. In our culture, one’s value is often determined by the size of their bank account and home, the car they drive, the clothes they wear and the associations they have (usually with other wealthy and powerful people). But this is not how God regards us. Since He owns it all anyway, what we have is from Him. He wants to see how we use it and whether wealth is used to build our modern “golden calves,” or does it honor Him? Do we care for others who are less fortunate?
In our day, government has replaced private charity and too many have acted as if that frees them from their responsibilities and privileges of using their wealth in a constructive way.
While politicians blame each other (and both Obama and McCain are wrong in their assigning of blame), the rest of us should see the Wall Street crisis as a teachable moment. Too many of us have equated wants with needs. God promises to supply all of our needs “according to His riches in Christ Jesus,” not all of our wants (the prosperity gospel frauds on TV notwithstanding). Our greatest need is not money, but redemption from sin.
I have friends who have refused to eat from the money tree. They live within their means and seem happier and more content than those who are constantly grasping for the next rung on the success ladder, obsessing that they might fall off.
By Cal Thomas