Addicted to Money
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
I like to think that my greatest defects are things of the past. Perhaps I just had the one addiction and am fine now. I read verses like this and I think, I’m glad I don’t have that problem. I’ve dealt with my addiction. I know a few people who need this verse.
I come back to reality though, when I am honest about my attachment to money. I must wonder what I would do if Jesus asked me, as He asked the rich young man (Matthew 19), to sell all I had and give it to the poor. Would I would walk away sad? The truth is, I like my money and my stuff.
Every addict, at one point or another, insists that he or she is not an addict. I don’t have a problem. I just like money. You know who has too much money? Everyone who has more than me. I have just the right amount. Well, maybe I could use a little more…
The problem, as Jesus stated it, is that money enslaves. It does so subtly, but it enslaves nonetheless. Just as we cannot pursue self and God at the same time, Jesus says that we cannot serve money and God simultaneously. If we serve money, we will necessarily neglect our pursuit of God.
God never enslaves. He asks us to daily choose to pursue him. Money is not so polite. Money is a drug that feeds and enslaves the pleasure center of our brain without ever satisfying it. To the money addict, there is no amount that is ever enough. A little more is always required and the more one has, the more one clings to it.
I admit, I have not got this one figured out. I am afraid that I am choosing to be blind. I do not want to be addicted to money, so I may just be refusing reality. Money addiction is worse, I think, than drug addiction. I can learn to live without mind-altering substances. I cannot learn to live without money. This may be why Jesus said it is so difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
The alcoholic who tries to just cut back a little, finds out very quickly that he or she cannot drink just a little. Abstinence is really the only option for the alcoholic if he or she wants to live free from addiction. This is just not possible with money. The money addict finds that complete abstinence is nearly impossible.
This then, requires painful honesty and rigorous introspection. Daily, I need to examine myself to find if I am expending myself in pursuit of God or money. I certainly believe I can learn to do my job, earning a paycheck, while pursuing God instead of self and money. It is just not natural to do so. I need to choose it.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.