Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Cost of Greed

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Two months ago Donald Sterling and his wife Shelly were in agreement that they would sell their franchise NBA basketball team (the L.A. Clippers) for a record-setting two billion bucks.  Donald balked, vowing to fight Shelly and the NBA to the grave. 

On Monday Shelly had the next laugh.  Her petition to have Donald declared incompetent to
handle his business affairs was approved by the courts, and now she has completed the sale.  The mood was “light and happy” outside the courtroom.  Donald’s out; Shelly’s rolling in it!

But, if the smiles, nervous laughter and celebration seem a little hollow, that’s only because it is!  By most reports those who measure their net worth in 10 digits (or more) live with a knot in their stomachs; a knot generated by watchfulness to see that nobody takes away their fortune. 

That’s a long way from the calmness you sense in those who have found a way to separate their life from their wealth.

The Scriptures (in many places) warn against the deceitfulness that wealth brings, as well as admonitions against obtaining (or wanting to obtain) wealth by means which destroy your integrity:  extortion, stealing, oppressing the poor, etc…

But nowhere does the Bible condemn honestly-gotten wealth, or the persons who possess it.
However, there is a universal warning to those who possess wealth; at any level. That warning is to not let money become the center of your life, whether you add up your net worth with one or one hundred zeroes!  Let’s face it; I can be as obsessed with that $126.51 in my savings account as Shelly Sterling can with billions.

The bottom line with this is that which our attitude towards money compels us to do with money.  Many examples abound, from those whose lives are played out in public displays of opulence and excess…to those who secretly adore the power their wealth affords…King Midas and his “touch of gold” is a fairy tale, but it accurately tells who we are, or could be underneath. 

But names of positive examples[1] also come to mind – people who have given several fortunes away.  These are those who have given their time, resources and life’s-energy to causes that benefit others. 

That is the essence of what Jesus told us about having the right attitude about anything placed in our hands:
 “Take care!  Protect yourself against the least bit of greed.  Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.”  Luke 12:15b (TMSG)

For You, Today

A right attitude about money will lead to proper actions with money.

It would be wise today to pray over what you’ll do with what God has given you.

[1] Find a list of notable philanthropists here

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