GenerousChurch

Ruined by desire for riches

by Patrick Johnson  |  October 26, 2010

I am reading the book "God So loved, He Gave" and reflecting on the well known passage out of I Timothy 6: 9 – "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." I've both read and spoken about this verse many times and tend to shrug it off with my Western mindset. Getting rich is part of the American dream; surely it's more desirable to want to have more versus less.

Right? 

Then I read some of the examples from Scripture that are discussed in the book, "God So Loved, He Gave." Men, women, whole families, and cities have been ruined by a love money:

  • Achan and his entire household – He stole some of the consecrated spoils after the battle of Jericho, and he and his family died as a result. (Josh 7; 1-26)

  • Ahab and Queen Jezebel – Disaster fell on their house not long after they conspired to steal Naboth's ancestral property. (I Kings 21: 19)

  • King Hezekiah – All the treasures and even some of the children of Israel's royal family were carted off to Babylon because of his pride in his possessions. (Isaiah 39: 1-8)

  • Sodom and Gomorrah – According to the prophet Ezekiel, their primary sin that caused their destruction by fire and brimstone was that they had "pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." (Ezekiel 16: 49)

  • Judas – He committed suicide after betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. (Matt. 26: 14)

  • Ananias and Sapphira – Both died because they tested the Spirit of the Lord by holding back a portion of their money and lying about it. (Acts 5: 1-10)


"Money has a peculiar power that can profoundly capture us, taking on a quasi-divine status and creating a sort of bondage," says Kelly Kapic, author of God So Loved, He Gave. "Saint Ambrose recognized this danger when he wrote, 'Therefore possessions are so called that we may possess them, not they possess us. Whey do you regard the master as a slave? Why do you invert the order?'" 

I heard a pastor once say that giving is to materialism as kyrptonite is to Superman. Indeed, one of the amazing benefits of living generously is that it frees us from the ruin and harmful desires caused by our love of money. So let us pursue a generous spirit, and avoid being ruined by a desire for riches.

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Dr. Kapic came to Lincoln to speak on generosity. He was co-hosted by Grace Chapel and Lincoln Berean. It was a great weekend to hear Dr. Kapic and be able to ask questions. If he is available he is a great generosity resource.
Brad Brestel
October 16, 2013 - 11:26:53 AM
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