The apostle Paul said that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Perhaps you consider that statement to be naive. I once saw a 20/20 special where John Stossel convincingly made the case that greed drives innovation and, of all things, generosity. So, what’s your attitude toward money? I’d like to share a couple of vignettes from the last two days on this topic. Feel free to comment on them.
First, I know a guy who started coming to services a while back. When he arrived here he had lost nearly everything including his family. After coming to faith in Christ and finding some redemption in his way of life, the breach began to be healed. Once his immediate relational pain began to subside, we saw him less until he completely dropped out of contact.
Then, about a month ago he called out of the blue saying he wanted to get right with God and by the way he also wanted a loan of $100. I’m not a big fan of being used so I came down on him pretty hard for abusing our relationship this way. He assured me that he was genuine and would pay me back that coming Friday. Seeing a great opportunity to provide him some accountability, I took him up on his promise and loaned him the money. He’s avoided me since then.
I hit him up for the money day before yesterday. Here is the transcript of our conversation via text:
Me – “When do you want to get me the $100?”
Him – “Can u wait 1 more week ive got everything tied up in this house its a fixer uper its in rough shape”
Me – “I don’t need the money. The point is your word. That’s what I’m concerned about. What does God want YOU to do?”
Him – “K he wants me 2 get a home 4 my family i hope im srry she has a week 2 get out so im rushing”
Me – “How convenient! Character is the most valuable thing a person can have. So, you are very poor, my friend. Keep the money.”
Him – “No i will get it 2 u”
Me – “Not about the money. You can’t make up what you’ve lost. You’ve broken your word and my trust.”
Him – no response
I showed this to my wife. She asked, “Why are you being so hard on this poor guy?” Yes, I was harsh. Sometimes we need to be. My friend, and I do love him dearly, has a problem. It’s going to continue to erode his life. I hate this aspect of his character for that reason. I want him to see it and be free of it. That won’t happen unless I am very direct with him. $100 would not have kept him out of his house. He has the money but that $100 is more important in his perception than his character or our relationship. Very sad.
Now to vignette 2: Yesterday, my younger kids and I were having an adventure at the creek/drainage ditch by our house. As my 7-year-old daughter and I were hanging out by the “waterfall,” I saw a tattered dollar bill lying on the ground. I picked it up and offered it to her. She thought for a minute and then said, “No…that’s okay. Just put it in the ‘poor box’ at church.”
Of the two, which do you think the richer?