For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. - 1 Timothy 6:7-10Living in a wealthy north Atlanta suburb, I am daily faced with the temptation to believe that having a newer car, nicer clothes, the ability to travel more, the ability to buy a nice home, etc. will make me happier. I'm even tempted to believe that more money in my wallet and in my bank account might even help me secure a more attractive and desirable wife.
Basically, it is a battle to believe that Christ is enough for me and not to let the love of money creep into my life. And that is what the writer of Hebrews is getting at when he says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have..." Why? What is the basis for not letting money capture my heart? Because "He has said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'" In Christ, the promise of God's presence is secured for us. If we forsake that and live for temporal/monetary security, we will only find ruin and destruction.
The best modern day illustration of this truth comes from an article I read several months ago that was published by the Washington Post in 2005. It's the tragic story about how a West Virginia man named Jack Whittaker won the $314 million Powerball lottery in 2002, and how the money destroyed him, his family, and many of those in his path.
Still hoping to win the lottery?