Not surprisingly, after talking about the
nature of the law, the glorious gospel and
the power of mercy and grace, Paul instructs the younger Timothy that church
leaders should not be known for being
lovers of money (1 Timothy 3: 3).
He also argues those who do not know
the truth about Christ, and the godly
teaching associated with that truth,
would think godliness is a means to financial gain. They will find themselves
eager for money, loving it excessively and
falling into grief of various sorts (1 Timothy 6: 3–10). There are other references,
The writer of Hebrews links the love of
money and the absence of contentment
with a lack of understanding that God will
never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews
Peter indicates that elders should not
be greedy for money. He describes them
as shepherds of God’s flock. When the
Chief Shepherd appears, they will receive
their reward (1 Peter 5:1– 4).
As Jesus recounts the parable of the rich
fool, He does not condemn the possession
of money, but asks whether the man
stored up things for himself and was not
rich toward God (Luke 12: 13–21).
In all these arguments the biblical
writers position the topic of money in the
context of “Who is God?” and “Who are
you?” It’s a posture that fits well with
Jesus’ warning that we can’t serve God and
money (Matthew 6: 24).
We can put confidence in money or
God, but not both.
We can serve God or money, but not
So when our having becomes dominant
and money becomes worshipped, we slip
into greed, what Thomas Aquinas called
“the immoderate love of possessing.”
Remember, Paul’s ethical injunction
against greed in the letter to the Colossian
church concludes with a poignant defin-
ition of this vice, “which is idolatry” (3: 5).
What is the fundamental error in be-
How wooden blocks come
ing absorbed with having Greed turns
money and material possessions into
idols, and we become violators of the
first two commandments. We have other
gods before the triune God and we wor-
ship at their altar.
into it all
I loved playing with wooden blocks when
I was younger. Even in my seventh decade
I will pile them up to see how high I can
go before they all come tumbling down.
The science of piling blocks is all about
how you start. You have to get the first
block on a firm surface so you can have
confidence it will be secure and provide
what is needed for the next one. But the
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A SECOND OPINION
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