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  • Writer's pictureHigher Expectations Church

Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Be Poor

Proverbs 21:17 - He who loves [only selfish] pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves and is devoted to wine and [olive] oil will not become rich.

There is a major sports network I watch periodically that broadcasts sporting events and news 24 hours a day. One of things that has become common in American professional sports over the past 20 to 30 years are large multi-million dollar contracts. For a handful of athletes, their compensation is measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars. So many of us look at them with envy and think, “If I just made a fraction of what they make, I would be set for life. I would never have to worry about money again.” Then we begin dreaming about our “fraction”.

But the network also broadcasts documentaries on the lives of athletes after they retire from

their sport. Too often the story line goes something like this: Athlete becomes rich and famous. He lives a lavish lifestyle showing off his cash, cars and cribs (houses). And then a few years later, he’s filing for bankruptcy. What happened?

Unfortunately they become examples of Proverbs 21:17. Their love for pleasure, and devotion to “wine, women, and song”, led them to poverty. The Bible is clear on the danger of misplaced “love and devotion”. 1 Timothy 6:10 warns us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, can lead us away from the faith, and can “pierce ourselves with many griefs”. Hebrews 13:5 tells us to “free ourselves from the love of money”, and be satisfied with what we have, which is a God Who said He will never us nor forsake us. Luke 16:14 tells us that the Pharisees were “lovers of money”, i.e., they had a selfish, insatiable greed for money. This mindset is what partly drove them to free a murderer from prison and crucify the Lord instead. (Matthew 27:20 – 22)

Do you have a selfish, insatiable greed in some area of your life? How about for acceptance? How about for attention? How about for control? How about for the praise of others? How about to be “right” in your discuss with others and/or have the last word? Just like the Pharisees, our selfish, insatiable greed in an area of our life can affect our mindset and eventually lead us to be “pierced with many griefs”.

Graciously the Lord clearly tells us where to put our primary focus. Matthew 6:33 tells us to

strive after His Kingdom (rule, control and will) and His righteousness (His way of doing and

being right), and He will provide things we worry about. It’s a matter of what we make the

consistent top priority of our daily walk in life. Which is it for you…God or other things?


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