Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can You Succeed and Still Love God?

Can you “succeed” and still love God?
“You’re not listening! I’m telling you, you simply CAN’T have a lot of money, drive a nice car, or live in a big house if you want to serve God! You can’t have both!”  My friend was getting more frustrated.  He was so adamant about it that I decided to just leave it alone and listen.  We had been talking for a while and somehow we got onto the discussion of success, money, possessions and being a Christian.   He was 100% convinced that anyone that had wealth or was “successful” could not possibly love God.
Wow!  What a distortion of God’s word!
I would argue the question “Can I be successful and love God” isn’t actually the “right” question.  A more appropriate question is, “What does it mean to be successful, how do I understand what God wants for me.”
It’s my belief the two are not mutually exclusive, and a person can love God, and be successful.  One is not necessarily a path to other, nor is one exclusive of the other.
What about 1st Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…”
Yea, what about it, it’s VERY true, I can relate!  Like most of us, there have been times in my life when I have struggled with the love of money.  However, it’s not the money, I believe, it’s safe to say you could insert “anything” in place of “money” and the passage would still be just as true.
For the love of “work” is a root of all kinds of evil…
For the love of “your house” is a root of all kinds of evil…
For the love of “facebook” is a root of all kinds of evil…
For the love of “your job” is a root of all kinds of evil…
For the love of “power or position” is a root of all kinds of evil…
or let me get a little closer to home for some of us, how about,
For the love of “your family or your children” is a root of all kinds of evil…
or even,
For the love of “ the ministry” is a root of all kinds of evil…
I know I’m stepping on toes here, but I have seen families destroyed by well meaning parents “serving God” all the while sacrificing their children to the “ministry” or “mission field”, it happens every day, examples abound.
“If it’s not about money, then why does Paul specifically call out money?”  I think Paul uses money in this example because it’s dead simple to understand, and hits home to a lot of us.
The important thing to take away is that the love of ANYTHING more than God is the root of all kinds of evil, when we put something, or someone, higher on our priority list than God we are headed for trouble.
The reality is that God has created each one of us TOTALLY unique with varying skills and gifts, and he calls us to serve in different ways!  The point Paul was making when he wrote this passage was that the “love” for something other than God was a root of all kinds of evil.  It is such a simple concept, it’s human nature to spend physical and mental energy on the things we “love”.
“If it’s not just about money, then why does Paul specifically call out money?”  I think Paul uses money in this example because it’s dead simple to understand, and hits home to a lot of us.
The important thing to take away is that the love of ANYTHING more than God is the root of all kinds of evil, when we put something, or someone, higher on our priority list than God we are headed for trouble.
So what’s the answer to the question, “can you succeed, and still love God?”
I believe that monetary wealth doesn’t have anything to do with success, and things like peace, rather than wealth should be used to define success.   Ask a person with money but no peace if they are happy and satisfied, if they answer honestly, they will never say they are happy.
Go out and love God, it’s through Him you will find “real” success.
-Christopher Behnke
I would LOVE your feedback, I’m not afraid of criticism, you won’t hurt my feelings so please let me know what you honestly think about the stuff I write about.  If you have some feedback shoot me an email at chris@behnke.us

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the insight I saw this the first time you posted it and I'm glad you put it up again!!

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