Summary: When people think about greed, a lot of us picture Scrooge. But this an extreme picture. The truth is none of are immune to the effects of greed that runs rampant in our culture. We look at the manifestation of greed and how to deal with it.
May 18, 2008
True or false. The bible says that money is the root of all evil. Who votes for true? False? It is false. The bible says (and this is our passage of focus today) that the love of money is the root of evil. The love of money is also known as greed. In the KJV Jesus uses the word Mammon. This greed in the extreme. Greed that sort of takes on a life of its own. It is the heart of the body of sin for this is where we see what or who it is that we truly love. Jesus tells us that we cannot love God more than we love money. Either we are devoted to the one or committed to the other. So he asks us to choose who we would follow. Will we follow Jesus and his ways which is his Shema or will we follow the ways that lead to death, destruction, and separation from God?
Our passage is going to be 1 Timothy 6: 6-12. Here is a letter supposedly from Paul to a guy that Paul has trained and discipled named Timothy. He wants to give him further teachings and encourage him not to give up on his faith in Christ.
As you find your place, I want to share a little story with you from my trip to Ireland. It was a dreary day as we traveled and we were winding up the trip for the day. As we loaded up for the hotel, we noticed a guy standing on the side of the road clutching a black bag. It looked like it was going to let loose with a torrent of rain any second. A group of us talked our tour guide into giving the poor guy a ride. Now this wasn’t something that the tour company did because of the obvious safety reasons but for some reason we did it.
The guy sat there in silence not saying a word. Harry, our tour guide, trying to be sociable asked him what was in his bag.
“None of your business,” he muttered. He then proceeded to utter some of the most obscene and vulgar expletives that you could imagine in English and Irish. I hope you will understand if I don’t repeat them.
Now our bus driver, Tony, was a mountain of a man. He had arms like tree trunks. He was a very quiet fellow but something seemed to give way.
“Now you see here fellow. We were just trying to be sociable. There is no need for that kind of language in this company. Harry just asked you a polite question and there was no reason for talk like that. After we are doing you a favor here and all we would like to know is what is in your black bag.” Said Tony.
“Mind your own business!” said that man and again he issued a string of vulgarities that would make a sailor blush.
Harry said later that he had never seen Tony angry or given to any kind of violence whatsoever. But immediately Tony screeched the bus to a halt. Got up and grabbed the poor buy by the scruff of the neck, dragged him off the bus, and tossed him in the grass to the side of the road.
Tony got back in the bus and we drove the rest of the way in complete silence. As we exited the bus someone noticed that the man had left the precious black bag. It was really very tragic all around as we had no way to get the bag to him. He wasn’t there when Tony went back. Ok. Let’s take a look at the passage.
What’s that? You ask, “What was in the black bag?” MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!
There is always one who just can’t helped themselves. You just gotta know. You can’t stand the curiosity. Although greed is far different, I think perhaps the mental state is much the same. You just gotta have more.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.