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The Trap Of Loving Money

1 Timothy 6:9-10
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NIVUK)

Many people believe that if they have more money, they will be happy and free from problems.  That is a lie!  The lust for money traps some people into a way of living which converts their dangerous desires into the destruction of their integrity, family, friends, career, reputation and even their lives.  Money itself is not the root of all evil (as some have misquoted); but the love of money propels people into an infinite variety of wicked thoughts, words and actions in order to achieve their desire and they trust themselves and despise the Lord.

Yet the drive to get more money is very powerful – as people assume that money makes them safe, buys them influence, gives them power, facilitates their pleasure, and enables them to live out a self-centred fantasy in which they are the hero and loved one.  That inner urge does not come from Father God; it is worldly (1 John 2:16).  What an antithesis to the gospel.  Only in God are we ultimately safe, and in serving Him we find our fulfilment.  
This is not just a problem for people in the world.  Even religious people can be trapped as was the rich young ruler of Matthew 19:16-24 and it can be a massive problem for some believers as well. When they stop trusting the Lord to provide all their needs and start engineering their own financial fortune, they desert the only true God and worship an idol.  But like all idols, money has no love or power in itself; it cannot save.  However, Satan seduces some believers to believe that it is more powerful and reliable than Jesus.  As they drift away from their Saviour, they lose their spiritual moorings and become increasingly grief-stricken as their evil thoughts, words and actions are much more harmful than they thought (Hebrews 2:1-4).  They have trusted in a false god and carry the painful consequences.
These verses describe the route to the shipwreck of many lives, and the shipwreck of faith (1 Timothy 1:18-20).  Even some believers try to satisfy their money-lust by theft, illegal trading, false tax statements, bribery, gambling and the intoxication of apparently successful business.  But it will only bring grief.  Worse still, it pulls your heart away from the Lord.  So if you find that money is so attractive that you change your lifestyle to get more, stop and reflect on these verses.  Ask the Lord to change your heart and forgive you for your idolatry.  The best way to deal with money-lust is to choose to give some money away; sacrifice your money so that the Lord can use it.  That is so much better than letting money drive you away from Him, along with all the short term and long-term grief.

Dear Lord God. Thank You that everything comes from You and that You give generously to Your children. I am sorry when I value money more highly than You and treat it as my security. Please speak to me through these verses and help me to be honest about the extent to which I worship my money and material possessions. Then enable me to start a new chapter in life by learning to give generously. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams