Over the years I have watched many people fall into this trap. What’s scary about the trap of greed is the deceptiveness of it. I have never heard anyone say, “I’m just greedy. I want to fill my bank account at any cost because I love money.” Nope, every time someone starts down the path of greed it’s ALWAYS with great intentions. Normally it sounds something like this, “If I had X amount of money, I could do great good for the Kingdom/my family/my church etc.” The Lord spoke to me several years ago and told me that I would never have to leave the Kingdom to possess the Kingdom. What I mean is that sometimes in order to possess the benefits of the Kingdom (righteousness, peace and joy) we sometimes embrace the opposite (sinfulness, anxiety and depression)! How many folks for the promise of a windfall have mortgaged homes, lost life savings and risked their financial future on gambling, stocks, businesses, causing great harm to the very people they were trying to bless??
This is what the Bible calls the deceitfulness of wealth:
“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” – Matthew 13:22
It’s true, having some money is better than having no money. I’ve had NO money and I’ve had SOME money. I prefer SOME money and I really would like to see what A LOT of money is all about! But poverty is not God’s answer to greed. Some Christians in their earnest desire to not fall into the trap of greed have unwittingly embraced a poverty mentality. But I have to say, both are incredibly selfish. A person with a greedy mentality gathers and never gives. A person with a poverty mentality has nothing to give, period. Neither are God’s best for our lives. I believe that we all should have enough for our personal needs and enough to be a real blessing to others. In the same way that we comfort others with the comfort we receive from God, we can give and bless others with our financial resources that we receive from God. If we receive nothing from God, we have nothing to give! So blessed to be a blessing is a wonderful place to be, spiritually speaking.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” II Corinthians 1:3,4
In Webster’s dictionary, a bribe is defined as: money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust; something that serves to induce or influence.
In this context, a bribe is a gift or promise given to influence your judgment and behavior. In short, what is the cost of your convictions? Our integrity and desire for God should have NO price tag on them whatsoever.
Keep your bribe money, I’ll keep my family.