Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Wealth is usually a curse

I was listening to a sermon by John Piper earlier entitled "Proclaiming the Excellencies of Christ, Not Prosperity, Among the Nations," and these words struck me:
"Wealth is NOT usually a blessing. It is usually a curse...Wealth is a mortal danger for those who have it. It does not make us generous and humble. It makes us buy more stuff, and it numbs our conscience because we have to blind ourselves to our inconsistencies with the Calvary road."
If you've listened to much Piper over the years, these words probably don't surprise you. He's helped me more than anyone else to understand the danger of loving money. But, these words are especially gripping and I think it's because he's never communicated this idea as bluntly. Money is usually a curse because it usually draws people "into a snare" and allows people to forget their need for Jesus. Jesus Himself said that it's "easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

The words are also gripping because of the context and point of his message, namely, reaching the unreached people of the world. He says:
"it isn’t for lack of money that there are 1,568 peoples [people groups] with no missionaries. It’s because we have so much. The comforts of the West have made us soft and cautious and fearful and indulgent and self-protecting, instead of tough and risk-taking and bold and self-controlled and self-sacrificing."
I don't want to be soft. I don't want to be cautious. But I am. And I don't want to want to be comfortable. But I do want it. I'm surrounded by toys and many things that I don't need. I need God to take my eyes off worthless things and to preserve my life according to His Word. So, if you're my friend, be a friend to me by helping me in this. I want my life to count and be using the money He's let me borrow to help usher in His kingdom, not spend it on my vain comforts.

Read/Listen/Watch the whole sermon here

1 comment:

  1. man, i listened to that sermon this morning on the way to go vote. That particular couple of sentences really jumped at me too. As I've thought back about why I felt something inside turn uneasy when I either said or heard "but we need missionaries here too", I really think Piper hit the nail on the head. Thanks for writing about this David!

    On another note, I'm attending a fundraiser on Thursday night for Josiah Venture. They serve in 13 countries across Europe, most of them being former Soviet countries. I've been to Slovakia and have seen firsthand the work going on there, so if you're looking for a way to get involved give me a call.