Sunday, December 20, 2015

My struggle with greed

I grew up in a middle-class, single income, family. It was a single income family because my mom and dad got divorced when I was about two years old and I lived with my mom. Even though we didn’t have much money we always had my grandma to fall back on when times got tough. When I was in second grade I was assigned a project to explain what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had many aspirations of what I’d do when I grew up, but on this particular project I wrote all about my desire to be on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

It was a dream of mine to have a yellow Lamborghini, a huge home and to have more money than I could image. Each time I watched the show my desire for the things the people had increased. When the show was over it was time to return back to the reality of living in a two-bedroom house and that my allowance would never buy me the things the people on the show had. It was the reality that there were things in this world I could never afford. The desire for monetary gain was planted early in my life, and established strong roots. After giving my life to Christ I had to begin fighting this strong desire in my heart.

Have there been times where you’ve struggled with loving money more than God?
Has this ever led to a lack of contentment with God?

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to find satisfaction with money and not God then this is for you. Let’s look at what God’s word says about finding satisfaction in Him, not material things.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6

The writer starts our text out with an instruction for us to be free from the love of money (read Hebrews 13:5). The verse is not only an instruction but there is a reason for the instruction. Do you see the two parts? Then there is evidence, from the Old Testament, to back up the instruction. We’re instructed to keep our lives free from the love of money. Why would this instruction be given to God’s chosen people? Maybe a love for money was capturing their attention more than a love for God.

If you’re struggling with being content go back and read at what comes next (Hebrews 13:6). We find that contentment right here, right in God’s word! This really begins to get to the core issue in our lives, is your confidence in money or God? When you trust God, you can confidently say this. You can confidently know that God is your helper and there is nothing to fear. Now this doesn’t exempt us from suffering or encountering hard times in our lives. This doesn’t mean we won’t struggle financially. This means we make a commitment to find our confidence in God. We do this when we know God, when we know His word and His character.

Think about how often Christ meets all our physical needs. Think about all the times God has provided for you.

This passage really brings out two reminders for us.

The first is that money will never bring the fulfillment that only God can.

No matter how much you accumulate, no matter how many zeros you have in your bank account or 403b it will never bring you the fulfillment that only God can. This why you need to trust deeply in Scripture and cling to God’s promises found in Scripture. If you are trying to fulfillment in God, you might need to be like the woman in Africa was sacrificially gave and increased her need to trust in God.

The second reminder is: Money will never make you content, no matter how much you have.

Let me leave you with a great quote from Ian Morgan Cron: “If your heart’s crammed tight with material things and a thirst for wealth there’s no space left for God.”

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