The new year is here, 2016 and everyone has great expectations and rightfully so. I have great expectations myself and I’m looking forward to a great year. Now in my continuation of teaching how to move into a better life I now need to bring you the areas of thinking to stay away from. Many people want to win the lottery and get rich some kind a way. Yes, I used a little bit of slang there, it’s okay. In my last lesson I stated that the sky is the limit. Yes, you can achieve anything you want and obtain as much money as you desire. The idea is to live a better life. The life God intended us to live.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
In the last couple of months God has been showing me a lot of warning signs of falling into idolatry. It wasn’t making any sense to me because I love God and I don’t have any intentions to worship any other. I’m nowhere near the idea of idolatry. So I ignored it. I have this warning many years ago and the same thing happened then. I ignored it because it just wasn’t making sense in my head. This time I decided to ask God what was he trying to tell me. Yes, God does listen and he answers. The next day during my bible reading time I came across this verse.
Colossians 3:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
My focus here is in the last words: and greed which is idolatry. I first read this in the King James version which states and “covetousness, which is idolatry.” So I decided to look up the word covetousness. My favorite definition from the dictionary was; having a craving for possession because it’s so simple. You would never think there is anything wrong with wanted good things. I’m I recanting my lessons or contradicting myself? No, I am not. Let me give you my second favorite definition from the dictionary; stresses lack of restraint and often of discrimination in desire <greedy for status symbols>.
Now we’re getting into it. Greedy for status symbols. Most people want to acquire in order to throw it into their oppressor’s face. Oppressor, you know, the ones who you feel look down on you, make fun of you, ridicule you etc... you see the importance here has now shifted into revenge without us even realizing it. They do oppress us, look down on us, and talk bad about us behind our backs. I’m not saying that is not happening. What I am saying is the concept of getting even with them is a trap that comes from fear and directs us into a pit of anger, frustration, and hate. Essentially we become like the very people we dislike. Ooh… that’s a bad taste in your mouth, isn’t it?
The other pitfall that most people don’t recognize is what money will do to you. In order to explain that let me explain why the verse states that greed is idolatry. Idolatry is known as the worship of other gods. What’s money got to do with that? Money entitles its possessor with power and power corrupts. “I have my mind on my money and my money on my mind” means you desire it to the point of loving it more than anything. It becomes your god. I’m sure many of you know the verse:
1 Timothy 6:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Please make note that it’s not money but, the love of money that brings evil. When you begin thinking, you have to have it. That’s when everything begins to go wrong. It’s like the ring from the “Lord of The Rings.” The desire to have more consumes you and you don’t even realize what’s happening to you. In fact, take a good look at this verse;
Ecclesiastes 10:19 New International Version (NIV
19 A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything.
If money was wrong no one on earth would have forgiveness of sin because no matter how little of it you may have, everyone has money. The danger is greed, and the love of money. Wanting more just for the sake of having it is the problem. Desire what you need to obtain a happy life but not to obtain a higher status than the other person.
And don’t lie to yourself saying you want more money to give more to the poor. It’s not how much you give to the poor that matters. It’s the desire in your heart to help someone in need. I’ve heard preachers say: I want you to get more so you can give more to the church. What they are really saying is, so you can give him more. Make no mistake, when you hear someone say those words, run. They are filled with the love of money and are only looking out for their own selfish desires not caring at all about you or your needs. Do not become like them.
James 3:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
I want you to obtain all the good things God desires for you but, don’t corrupt it.
In this new year 2016 live the best you can, love the best you can, be kind to everyone the best you can. And always live write.