By Prof. Michael Ogunu
Contrary to popular belief, money is not everything. Many people believe that all the problems in their life would be solved if they just had more money. Not so. Money is not a solution to our problems. In fact, money can be a hindrance for many of us. It becomes an obstacle when we spend all of our awakened hours thinking about how we can obtain more of it.
It is important to understand what money is intended for before we try to acquire more of it. We must understand how to use it wisely, before we find ourselves trapped in debt, still trying to get more of it.
There are many people who just “love” money. We all like to have money because without it, we would find it difficult to obtain our basic material needs; but I am talking about lust for money. People who love money seem to absorb it like a sponge that soaks up water. Some hoard it and store it up for a “rainy day” while others spend it as quickly as they can get it. Oftentimes, people who like to spend money acquire many items that make them appear wealthy to others. They buy very expensive clothes, furniture, cars, electronic gadgets and so on but those who see them are not aware of the fact that these purchases in most cases are made on credit or on borrowed money, and the majority of time is spent worrying about how to pay them off. Such people have an insatiable desire for gaining wealth. They will go to extremes just to get more money, in order to buy more things.
The love of money, the longing for money, makes us want more of it. Greed digs its roots into our life which causes other sins such as deception and lying – tools some people use in order to obtain more money.
The bible says that “Godliness with contentment is great gain”. We should be happy with the amount that God has blessed us with and first learn how to handle that amount responsibly. Greed will cause us to want what belongs to someone else.
Some people want to buy expensive things in order to impress others who have money and riches. We lust after what they have and what we can’t afford. People who lust after money wear extravagant clothes, drive flamboyant cars, wear large diamonds. They drape gold all around their necks and live in a home they cannot afford.
Solomon in the bible had great wealth. He gave big, extravagant parties. He drank out of gold globlets. He loved to put on a big show. Eventually, he grew to love money. His desire for money led him into a lifestyle of lust. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines!
A characteristic of someone who loves money is that he becomes a servant of money. Money becomes our master when it tells us what to do. It tells us when to go to work and for how long. We can’t serve two masters. We cannot serve both God and money. We serve money when we work just to satisfy our own desires. This leads to our thinking about money all day long. When we squander our money, we are letting God know that we cannot be trusted.
Many people think that if they just had more money, everything would be okay. Instead, we need to learn how to manage the money that we do have. God will only trust us with what we can handle.
We also serve money when we place our treasures here in earthly possessions. The bible says: “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Finally, we serve money when we go into debt for furniture, clothes and expensive cars. Many times we make these purchases out of season and we do not give God an opportunity to work on our behalf so that these things can be added unto us.
If you feel these characteristics of a person who loves money fits you, you can change your lifestyle.
In order to free ourselves from lust after money, we need to understand a few basic truths:
First we should look to God as our source of provision and glorify Him in all we do. He will make sure that everything that concerns us is taken care of. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you”.
The way to turn away from loving money is to repent and commit all that you have back to Jesus Christ.
Make a commitment to be content regardless of how much money you have. “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1Timothy 6:6).
Realize that regardless of how much money you accumulate, (including the millions in foreign accounts), you cannot take it with you when you die. “For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7).
Never sacrifice your family, friends or health for additional riches. “Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction” (1Timothy 6:9).
If you have a desire for riches or have already accumulated riches, make a commitment to share with others. “In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
Remember that keeping your soul is far more important than obtaining riches. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).
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