A few years ago, during one of our family Christmas’, we all settled in after dinner to exchange and open gifts. The sounds of wrapping paper being tossed around mingled with thank you, and squeals of excitement, filling the house all around. Until one of the children crossed his arms and said very matter of fact that he did not get what he wanted. He was mad and started to throw a fit. He was upset that not only did he not get what he wanted, but he wanted more than just the few presents he was given. It was uncomfortable for many of us and the parents of the child soon expressed to him how he needed to be thankful for what he was given and that his behavior was unacceptable. But he was adamant, he wanted more. He eventually got over it, but the ungrateful, spoiled attitude put a damper on the rest of the festivities.
“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 the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1Timothy 6:9-10 ESV
Deep within me is a desire to be rich. A desire to have a successful, profit producing business. I dream of being a CEO of my company as it grows and grows to reach across the whole U.S. of A. I want that big corner office, the money to travel and the fame and recognition that comes with it. I want to be rich. This desire, however innocent it may seem, has become an idol. It has taken root in my heart and grown up into a flower of false security. My desire to be rich and successful has taken my reliance off God and placed it in riches and in results.
When I started this business, it was a work of God. The desire was to build not only a company but a ministry as well. A place where I could share the love and passion I have for Christ with those who used our services. But somewhere along the way the love of money sprung up and took hold of my purpose, turning my focus to more rather than being content with what I had. I became that spoiled, ungrateful child who was not appreciative of the gifts my Father had given me. I wanted more. I still want more.
What are you seeking after? What are you pursuing today? Could it be to be the next best seller on Lifeway’s list? Or maybe you want to be the next mega church, having thousands in attendance each week, and a successful TV ministry? Maybe you are seeking after financial security for you and your family’s future. That which gives us the most stress is the root from which the idol of riches spring from. Riches do not always mean money. They can mean fame or making a name for yourself. They can mean getting glory and honor for something you do, or say. Riches are what we determine will make us happy and we won’t stop pushing and pursing until we get them.
I have been stressing out about money because deep down I want to be rich, I seek after fame and fortune and for some reason, I think it’s the only way I will ever be truly happy. I have even told myself that once I reach that point, then I can do mighty and great things for the Lord.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of this world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
Contentment is the only cure for this desire I have for more. Contentment is the strength to be satisfied no matter what I have or what I lack. This business may never grow to a point where I am nationwide. I may never get to that point and place in my life where I can afford to travel all the time and pay my bills when they need to be paid. I may never be rich. But none of that should ever matter, none of that should even be a part of my life! Paul reminds us of this when he writes to us in Philippians 4:12-13 that no matter what state he found himself in, he was content. Whether he lacked or whether he was living in abundance, he was satisfied because he had Christ and through Christ he could do and be all things. Riches do not define us. Success does not define us. Christ defines us.
There is no promise of tomorrow for any of us. We only have today. The gifts I have been given today are blessings and riches which can never be taken away. I have Jesus. I have His love, His favor, His blood and His name to cover me, to guide me, to be there for me when the world is falling apart all around me. All this other stuff, yes, even this business He has given me, it is just stuff and means nothing compared to His name sake. I can’t take it with me.
Every time I stress out about money and I pray to God to provide for me, to bless my desire for more, I am asking Him to bless the idol of riches that have taken root in my heart. My desire for more is sin. It is sin and it separates me from the true riches that I have been given through Jesus Christ my Lord. When I ask for more, pray for more, beg God for more, I am telling Him that what He has provided for me thus far is not good enough. I become that ungrateful, spoiled rotten little brat that demands He give me more. I take the gifts I have been given and I throw them on the floor.
My heart is broken today over the realization that I have been a spoiled little child, not content with what I have, nor where I am in this life. I want more and what God has provided for me up to this point is not enough. My heart is broken to think that I have thrown down the precious gift of Jesus Christ because what I wanted was more important than Who He is. May God forgive my sin of more, my sin of riches and may He give me strength to be content with what I have, because what I have is Jesus Christ and He is greater than any riches this world could ever offer me. May Christ our Savior always be enough. In Jesus Name, amen.