As a result of the question I posted last week, I was discussing the issue of being a “lover of money” with some friends. In the course of our conversation, it was suggested that, perhaps, we are not so much lovers of money, but lovers of security.
This idea helped us move beyond a cursory response to the question, and begin to dig into the issue a bit. But I don’t believe it got us to the heart of the issue. It just helped clarify the question. See, being a lover of security is basic to our existence as humans. The problem is not our desire for security and safety. The real problem is that we believe money will provide it, but God will not.
Over and over in Scripture, we face this choice. We can look to God for security, or we can turn to money (e.g., Psalm 52:7; Hebrews 13:5-6). Two distinct, opposing choices.
By the time Jesus came to earth, the religious leaders of the day, of which the scribes Pharisees were the most prominent members, had rationalized away any conflict between these two options. They believed that they were righteous because of their meticulous attention to the observance of rituals and legal minutiae. As a result, they had earned God’s approval and achieved righteousness. The wealth they had accumulated was seen as God’s blessing, and thus, evidence of this righteousness. Read more