Religion Magazine

The Money Trap

By Albert Wagner @albertwagner4
What is it?  People think about it daily and it is even discussed a fair amount in the Gospels.
It is definitely something people claim to want a LOT of.  Do YOU?
From a spiritual perspective, however, as these posts are, there is a contrasting view.
As a start the Bible is not against money and wealth, per se.  There is a common conception that religion and poverty go hand in hand.  This is not necessarily so.  A common Biblical quote about money is as follows:
The love of money is the root of all evil.   - Bible, Book Of Timothy 6:10
What does that mean?  It means if your place money at a higher priority than God it can lead to problems.  Just look at what Adam did in the Garden of Eden.  Adam placed sensual pleasure (the forbidden fruit) before God and we all know the result of that action.  It is not suggesting you should not like money, per se.
The Bible is not directing poverty, but directing you to put God before money.  Naturally this goes against human thinking.  Humans tend to think more money is always better.
Don't Let Money Fool You
This post takes another view.  What is that view?
Money is the means, and not the end. The medium is the money itself, and the ends are how you acquire it and give it away.  Have you ever heard of people who committed suicide after winning the lottery?  This sounds ridiculous to some people.  After all, you can do whatever you want.  Who wouldn't like that?
Money and the meaning of life
 But, wait.   It sounds like folly to say the lottery is a snare.  You might also remember that people called the Cross folly.  Why would God have to come and suffer?  He can do whatever he wants. This "folly" resulted in the chance for eternal salvation for humankind. When a person looks deeper into topics (like these blogs do) one often comes up with a conclusion that is different than they first thought.  "What could possibly be the down side of winning the lottery?" is something a person might ask.  Well, here are some thoughts:
1. The Next Best thing Fallacy
People tend to think if they could just get that one thing they want they would be happy.  Reality, however, can tell a different story.  When examining those who committed suicide after winning the lottery do they sound like people who were content with their life?
Humans always seem to want more than they have.  After you get it it becomes relative to what other people have.  You can look at the salary negotiations of professional baseball players if you doubt this.
2. Security
If you win a large jackpot and others hear about it there is the danger that someone will hurt you to  get it.  Do you think that is exaggerated?  Have you heard of those who had family members kidnapped and ransom demanded after winning the lottery?  Does money have more value than your own life?
If you have what others want, human nature says to try and take it from you.
3.  You don't know who your friends are.
It might sound okay at first to have people asking you for things.  You can do what you want, right?  Why, then, does a person commit suicide?  If people talk to you just for your money then eventually that would become irritating.  Humans are created to want appreciation.
Friends who only want you for your money are not true friends.
4. Routine things begin to lose value they once had.
What brings value to something corresponds to the difficulty in acquiring it.  If everyone had something it would not be worth as much. If you had whatever you wanted at any time how precious would it be to you?  You could always go get it and acquiring it would become routine.  Eventually it could become boring.
Do you have the same level of excitement from your Christmas gift that you had when you received it?
There is a reality to human nature when it comes to money.  In fact, a common saying is not to lend family or friends money.  It can change the dynamic of the relationship. 
There is a view of the Church that if you have more than you use you are actually stealing from others.  It is not even considered a radical view.  Humans need certain things, but when it comes to wants their behavior changes.
Do you put money first or God first in your life?
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The money Trap
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