I work in the Division of Child Support, and our primary function is the collection of child support. We collect money from one household and distribute it to another. I get a lot of calls about money. Parents that have to pay child support call me and tell me about how our collections are hurting them and their current families. Parents waiting on child support call me when a payment is late, when payments are inconsistent, or when the money stops. No matter which side I talk to, the complaint almost always can be summed up by “I don’t have enough money.” Paul tells Timothy that, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Managing money, spending money, earning money, depending on money—the greatest curse of being an American is the access and focus on wealth that permeates our society.
Hebrews 13:5 begins with, “Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have…”What would my life be like if everyone was satisfied with all that they have? What if we could be content like Paul? (See Philippians 4:12) I am not sure how to describe what that kind of world would look like. What I do know is that in that kind of world, stuff would not matter. People would be more focused on other things. We may find improvements in our relationships, our families, our performance—even our churches. When we are less distracted by the glittering things of this world anything could happen.
Like it or not, our world—especially wealth and money—have become a distraction. It has become a distraction to churches who have forgotten their mission and purpose and have instead become “Christian Social Clubs”. It has become a distraction to Christians who pursue the promise of a health and wealth gospel instead of a slave to Christ. Jesus was right when He said in Matthew 19:23-24, “I assure you: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” As Americans we are the rich.