Sermons

Summary: It is plain to see that money is an easy god to love, and the worshipper of it can easily win converts to it. It is likely the most popular of all the religions of the world, even though it is never listed among the world religions.

When a Mr. Blodgett won 25 thousand dollars on a TV program

the master of ceremonies asked him what he was going to do with

the money. He replied, "It will probably all go to charity." The

audience broke into a tremendous round of applause while the band

played for he's a jolly good fellow. After the excitement subsided the

master of ceremonies turned to the winners wife and asked if that

met with her approval. She responded, "Why certainty my name is

Charity." Here was a man who knew how to avoid a fight about

money. He simply surrendered. Most mates do not do so, however.

Studies among students indicate that the cause for most arguments

in the home are about money. One man said his home split up for

religious differences. His wife worshipped money and he didn't

have any. Many men complain that their wife's favorite book is the

checkbook. Once they start one they can't put it down until they

finish it. Robert Schuller said, "Whether a man ends up with a nest

egg or a goose egg often depends on the chick he marries."

One of Henry Ward Beecher's favorite stories was about a young

man who applied for a job in a New England factory. Asking for the

owner, he was ushered into the presence of a very nervous man. He

said to the young man, "The only vacancy we have is vice-president.

The man who takes the job must shoulder all my cares." The young

man responded, "That is a tough job. What is the salary?" The

owner replied, "I'll pay you ten thousand a year if you will take over

all my worries." "Where is the ten thousand coming from," the

young man asked suspiciously. "That my friend," replied the

owner, "Is your first worry."

Worry over where the money is coming from has always been a

wide spread practice. Epicurus, the ancient philosopher, said that

being rich did not end your worries, but just gave you different

worries. A modern writer said, "I know at last what distinguishes

men from animals: Financial worries." This is not the whole

picture, but it is a fact, and the fact of men being worriers over

money is becoming more and more evident as prices continue to rise

and taxes threaten to gobble up what inflation has not already

devoured.

Bird images have always been common on money. One of the

famous coins of Alexander the Great had an eagle on it, which is also

true of our American currency. A modern poet sees in this a symbol

probably not intended by the engravers. He writes, "Eagles on

dollars are proper and right, because they symbolize swiftness of

flight." Money talks, but for most people it never stays around long

enough for a good conversation. Richard Armor said, "That money

talks I'll not deny, I heard it once: it said goodby." Money still talks

today but it makes less cents.

All of this negative thinking about money as being a cause for

worry and hard to hold on too is based on the assumption that

money is good and nice to have in sufficient quantities. Why worry

about it, or be concerned at its departure if it is not good? Christians

have all the same complaints and so they too feel that it is good to

have money, and that it is a positive good. Why then is the most

famous statement in the Bible about money that, "the love of money

is the root of all evil?" It is often misquoted as money is the root of

all evil. But Paul does not intend to convey the idea that money is in

itself evil in any way. It is the love of it, and the greed and avarice

and covetousness this leads to that is the root of all kinds of evil.

Failure to make this important distinction has led to many false

attitudes based on this verse.

Before we look at what Paul is saying we must first look at what

he is not saying. We must first speak in defense of money as a good

thing. Paul knew that money was essential for maintaining the

church. He urged Christians to give generously every week. He also

sought to collect money for the poor Christians in Jerusalem. Paul

was not anti-money man. He was only anti-avarice. Money can be

used to fulfill the will of God and provide most everything man

needs for happy and effective living. Even the higher things of life

an spiritual experiences depend upon ones ability to buy good books,

music, and art. But even the thousand and one commonplace

necessities are not to be treated lightly. Many testimonies can be

summed up in the words of an unknown poet.

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