November 20, 2013

“It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.”  Hosea 13:5-6

English: Photograph of Sophie TuckerI’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better. ~ Sophie Tucker

Sophie Tucker was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first half of the 20th century.  She had been rich and she had been poor.  I understand that being rich might have been better for her comfort but was it better for her soul?  I understand that there is nothing inherently wrong with money but there are multiple warnings in the Bible about the hazards of prosperity and wealth.

Issues revolving around money or the lack there of are symptoms of our hunger.

Graham Taylor / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

I have seen the homes, cars, vacations, clothes of the wealthy and wanted what they have.

I have seen those in retirement, traveling the world, playing golf, living a life of leisure and wanted what they have.

I’ve known times of full accounts when house budgeting was not necessary.

I’ve known the debate of what can be given while still retaining enough to fund obligations.

I have felt the flush of pride at being well compensated for being good at what I do.

Zachary Davies Detroit, Michigan USA / Foter.com / CC BY

I have felt the despair at watching six-digits of paper net worth burn away like a morning fog.

I’ve experienced the shortened breath when worries steal a room’s oxygen at the implosion of personal finances.

I have done the projections of retirement needs and grimaced at its uncertainty.

I have never known extreme poverty and I have never known extreme wealth.  However, I have known good and bad times.  Within those bounds, I have come to learn that neither wealth nor want has ever satisfied my hunger.

We are all are tempted to satisfy the hunger pain of our flesh.

Those without material comforts are tempted to hope that satisfaction will be found in what they do not have.
Those of moderate wealth are tempted to worry about not having enough.
Those of significant prosperity are tempted to forget the source of all that they have.

My "flavorite" grocery store...

The reality is that money can resolve a lot of physical needs.  I do not know how to function in this world without money but our worlds of physical needs are fraught with temptation.  There are so many sins that can be birthed from the unhealthy cesspool of the love of money; greed, pride, jealously, envy, discontentment, hate, murder, gossip, theft, lying, etc…

A Mazda MPV minivan being donated to a charita...

We would be foolish to disregard the Biblical warnings associated with wealth and prosperity.  The love of money is like a rice cake, it has no nutritional value but it can appease our spiritual hunger for a time.  It can even make us forget God if we feast on it as our souls starve.

We all have a voracious appetite for happiness and money can buy a lot of short-lived happiness.  This reality makes money a strong temptation to snatch the control of our happiness away from God.  I am, like most people, too easily satisfied by material-induced happiness.

I know that I am often too easily satisfied.

I am too easily inclined to embrace the comforts of this world over the rewards of eternity.
I am too resistant to lessons associated with want.

I am too quick to try to appease my appetite for happiness.
I am too slow to trust God to take care of my needs.

I am too content with how my comforts feel, to see joy in loss.
I am too impatient with God’s provisions.

I know how easily I can find myself lost in a love of money.  I don’t think that I am unique to this temptation.

Therefore, we should treat money in the same manner as a glutton treats food; a necessity that must be controlled.  We need clothing, housing and food.  We live in a material world that functions on the basis of money.  Money is a necessity but our appetites for this necessity must always be controlled.

May we never exchange our love of the Creator for a love of the created.  May we never allow a belly full of prosperity cause us to forget our God.

PRAYER: O Lord, you know that I have a deeply rooted love of money.  Father, I need you to kill that unholy love.  Open my eyes to all that draws me away from you.  Remind me that all that is good in my life is a gift from you.  All is yours.  Help me to be a good and faithful steward of all that you have given me, particularly my money.  Help me to be a cheerful and joyful giver.  Help me to glorify you in the times of my want.  Help me to trust you in times of plenty and in times of need.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. “The love of money is like a rice cake, it has no nutritional value but it can appease our spiritual hunger for a time. It can even make us forget God if we feast on it as our souls starve.” Wow. Powerful imagery here! Such truth as well–thank you for a timely reminder.

  2. I greatly appreciate your humble heart and honest words, JD. You speak for all of us who are “too easily satisfied by material-induced happiness” and not pursuing the rewards of eternity as diligently as we should. Thank you for your thought-provoking reminder.

  3. Great post. Especially with Christmas coming up which often means extra expenses for travel, special meals, gifts, etc. Good reminder to keep things in perspective!

    • Thanks for you comment and encouragement.
      God Bless!

  4. As Ms Tucker indicated in her autobiography https://archive.org/details/someofthesedayst011416mbp that she was poor first, and then by hard work (and sacrifices — some too great in my opinion) her earned a very good salary.

    • Thanks for the link. I will check out her autobiography when I have a little more time.
      God Bless!

  5. Very thoughtful, inspirational piece.

    • Daryl, thanks for the encouragement.

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