“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have” Hebrews 13:5
When a tailor in New York won the million-dollar lottery he closed up his shop and went out on the town. For more than two years he lived the high life. He stayed in the very best of hotels, ate at the best restaurants, had a retinue of attendants attending to his every whim, and was extravagant with everything he did. Within a relatively short time he’d spent every last penny of the million dollars.
Exhausted and despondent he went back to the little tailor shop and opened up his business once again. As had been his custom in the past, he put aside two dollars a week for lottery tickets and would you believe it, only two years later two men arrived at his shop and announced that he had won the million-dollar lottery again!
It’s reported that there was a stunned silence from the tailor and then with a deep groan he exclaimed, “Oh no! That means I have to go through all that again!”
Yes, winning the lottery can ruin your life. Surprisingly enough the Wall Street Journal recognized this reality. They said, “Money is an article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider of everything except happiness.”
Which raises a question. If money doesn’t bring happiness then how can we use it so it doesn’t ruin our lives?
John Wesley provides the answer: He said, “I fear, wherever riches have increased (exceeding few are the exceptions), the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches. What way then can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell? There is one way, and there is no other under heaven. If those who gain all they can, and save all they can, will likewise give all they can, then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven.”
Hebrews 13:5 has this concluding exhortation: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”