Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have... Hebrews 13:5
Being in politics is almost like being in high school. In high school the boys always knew who would and who wouldn’t. Who was easy and who wasn’t. The same is true in politics. Deal makers and those looking to score a contract or project know who will and who won’t – sell out.
How? Like needy girls in high school who would give in to the first boy who paid them any attention, a needy public servant will give in to a deal maker who detects the same.
They instinctively know if you’re for sale or likely to cut a deal based upon your history with others and they will be quick to offer to support your pet project in exchange for your support.
But like boys in the locker room, word gets around. And it cheapens your character.
That’s why the writer of Hebrews emphasizes to us to make sure our character is free from the love of money. There is nothing wrong with money - it's the love of money that can sink your boat and career.
As first servants of God, then servants of people, we must rely on God to meet our financial needs not people. And certainly not through dirty deals because you can never be clean from a dirty deal. The stain of it is impossible to wash away.
Read any headline in any city. From clerks to city managers, to council people to county commissioners - the overriding thing that sank their ship was likely a character not free from the love of money. Subsequently, they were bought and paid for but in the end the price they paid was far steeper.
It is easy to sell your reputation, but you can never buy it back.
How do you know when your character isn't free from the love of money?
If you are preoccupied with what others have and you don’t. The nice cars others drive, you desperately want but can't afford. Your character is not free from the love of money.
You long for a house in that certain neighborhood, to live in a part of town where friends, church members or maybe a colleague live, but you can't afford the mortgage. Your character is not free from the love of money.
The jealousy that rises up when you scan social media and see others living the good life of exotic vacations and eating in nice restaurants that you so desperately want too to do. Your character is not free from the love of money.
You salivate at the site of tailored suits and high-end shoes and don't think twice before maxing out your credit card to buy them. Your character is not free from the love of money.
When there is never enough money for the things you want, the vacations you want to take and the lifestyle you want to live, your character is not free from the love of money.
Any of these sound familiar? When the longing for more never goes away, be careful. Satan is setting you up for the sale and for an embarrassing fall.
The setup occurs when opportunity meets greed. You become a prime target. You don't need that new car if the one God has provided gets you where you and your family need to go. You don't need that big new house when God has provided a roof over your head and you're not homeless. You don't need to eat at that restaurant when God has provided a full pantry and refrigerator (with leftovers).
God has promised to meet our needs not our wants. Satan will never meet a need, but will keep us focused on wants and make us ungrateful for how God by His grace continually meets our needs.
What then is our defense? Contentment. Contentment is not only our defense but is the key that opens the door for God to give us more. Contentment doesn't come naturally - it is learned and is the secret few learn in their lifetime.
The Apostle Paul got it:
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:11-13
Ask God today to give you a spirit of contentment. If you have little, thank Him. If you have much, thank Him. His grace is sufficient for you and me; and we need never compromise our character for things we do not need.
They always know who will and who won't. Contentment guarantees we never will.
What are you longing for that you do not have but long to own or be able to do? Is it a need or want? Ask God to help you know the difference and begin thanking Him for meeting your every need.
Dorothy Burton is the author of the book, "Why We Fall: How Not to Sabotage Your Career, Your Relationships, Your Life! http://amzn.to/1LQnyCj
Published on Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 11:06 AM CDT