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Donít Put Your Hope in Money
By Gordon MacDonald

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Every privilege and blessing has accompanying temptations. People of wisdom understand this, and they do all they can to ensure that the temptations are quickly spotted and defeated when they present themselves. It appears to be Paul's observation that two of the more common temptations for people who have been materially blessed are an attitude of arrogance and a tendency to believe that wealth can solve all problems.

Arrogance and pride: They are postures of personality that infer (consciously or unconsciously) that one knows more, can do more, and is worth more than anyone else. The arrogance of the wealthy leads them to believe that they can live above the rules, buying themselves into anything or out of anything. In Proverbs 8:13, wisdom says, "I hate pride and arrogance."

The temptation to "put (one's) hope in wealth" is the second temptation. In this time of prosperity in which we live, it is not difficult to see why a young man or woman would read of the dazzling sums of money being gathered by dot-com entrepreneurs and think that there is no problem that cannot be solved by cash.

Nebuchadnezzar looked out upon Babylon and succumbed to both temptations when he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"

"The words were still on his lips," Scripture says, when a voice came from heaven pronouncing judgment upon him. The man spent seven years separated from it all (see Dn 4:28-33).

Here is a moment for a person blessed with material gain to be ruthless with himself or herself. We are apt to resist the thought that we could ever succumb to these two temptations. It would be safer to assume the approach of them every day and, therefore, to make it a daily discipline to plead with God for the strength to resist.

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