“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap.” 1 Timothy 6:9
Some of you are old enough to remember Monty Hall and the game show Let’s Make a Deal—the one where contestants could keep what they had already won or risk trading it in for the mystery prize behind “door number one, door number two, or door number three.” Believe it or not, I once convinced Jim to go with me to one of the shows.
There we were: I had toy birds fastened everywhere on my head and blouse, and Jim (reluctantly) held a sign that said, “My wife is for the birds.” Our getup was enough to earn us seats in the contestants’ row, and before we knew it, we were in front of the cameras trying to name the correct price of four items to win a brand‐new Camaro. And believe me, we needed that car! Jim had just graduated from USC, and we had invested every available dollar in his tuition and expenses.
We guessed the first three items within the three‐dollar margin of error, but we missed on the last one—a Hoover vacuum cleaner. So we didn’t win the Camaro. Yet we walked away from that show with a new vacuum cleaner and another, much more valuable prize: a greater appreciation for how easily greed could overcome us.
Since that time we have observed that Satan appears to offer whatever a person hungers for in exchange for a spiritual compromise. In our case, a new automobile was the perfect enticement to unleash our greed. If illicit sex is your desire, it will eventually be made available. If your passion is for fame or power, the object of that lust will be promised (even if never delivered). Likewise, if you thirst for great wealth—beware! People who care passionately about money are often suckers for wild‐eyed schemes and shady deals. They are always on the verge of a bonanza that seems to slip through their fingers. Instead of getting rich, they get taken.
This is the threat posed by greed. Material comforts or money in the bank can become our first love—our greatest treasure and passion. And when that happens, God becomes almost irrelevant. But the Lord will not settle for second place (“You shall have no other gods before me”— Exodus 20:3). We encourage you to say, “Let’s make a deal” right now. Agree now that you’ll always keep money in its place and the Lord as the first love of your life.
- Shirley M Dobson