Summary: 1 of 4 on Money. Each message in the series on 1 Timothy 6 is about a decision that must be made. This message is on choosing prosperity.

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Chasing Wealth or Choosing Prosperity

Who doesn’t want to win the lottery?

Graphic of lottery tickets & wealth

"Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.”

Evelyn Adams, 5.4 million dollars

Evelyn Adams: "Winning the lottery isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice (1985, 1986), to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.

Chasing Wealth or Choosing Prosperity

"I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare."

William “Bud” Post, 16.2 million dollars

Bud Post: William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security. "I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare," says Post.

A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn’t his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., -- two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings.

Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt. Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps.

Dissatisfaction with what we have is an American epidemic.

I’ve lived that story many, many times in my life and I’m sure you have too.

When I was a boy it was a train set – one that made smoke as it went around the track. Later it was a two-speed Schwinn Bicycle with a speedometer. During my high school years it was having a girlfriend, thinking that if I just went out with the right person, my life would be complete. As an adult it’s been focused on the right car, getting the fastest computer, and having the nicest lawn – well not really – but you get the drift – don’t you.

Dissatisfaction with what we have is an American epidemic. Perhaps its an epidemic we’re susceptible to because we live in the most affluent society in the history of the human race. Dissatisfaction is an epidemic that’s carefully fed by the advertising industry, as it promises us again and again that our dissatisfaction will disappear if we just buy this or that product.

We all know those advertising promises aren’t really true, but something deep inside our soul that’s not rational cries out, "Maybe this will make my restlessness go away."

Dissatisfaction is what leads husbands to leave their wives after fifteen years of marriage; it’s what tempts people to max out their credit cards to buy new clothes.

This restlessness inside of each of us is especially strong at Christmas and immediately afterwards.

Chasing Wealth or Choosing Prosperity

"The holidays should be a time to honor our best values, not a time to muffle them in layers of stuff."

Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen in an editorial in Newsweek in December of 01 made this point. (, "Honestly--You Shouldn’t Have NEWSWEEK 12/3/01 p. 76)

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