People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap . . . For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
1 Timothy 6:9,10
A man by the name of Hansie Cronje [pronounced HAHN-see CROHN-yah] is not familiar to many of us. In South Africa, where the game of cricket is a dominant sport, Hansie Cronje was a household name. Imagine a person with the superstar talent of a Michael Jordan, the universal popularity of a Tom Hanks, and the integrity of an Abraham Lincoln all rolled into one. In the 1990s, when racial divisions were fierce, black and white citizens alike revered Hansie, a white man, for his sense of fairness and his strength of character.
Therefore, when a report with evidence appeared that Hansie was taking money for match-fixing, almost everyone dismissed the report as outrageous. His reputation for honesty was impeccable. How could anyone even suggest such a thing?
A few days later, however, Hansie cracked. He confessed that the substance of the report was true. Later, in a legal hearing televised live to the nation, Hansie told what he had done. He also answered the question: “Why?” The reason he gave was simple. It was, he said, “an unfortunate love of money.” Authorities later banned Hansie Cronje from cricket for the rest of his life. He died in a plane crash two years later.
Hansie was honest as to the trap into which he had fallen. God’s Word, through the apostle Paul, is honest too. Across the centuries, Paul is looking us straight in the eye when he speaks to us. The love of money has always been a trap for our fallen, sinful natures. In our culture that is materialistic and money-centered, the trap is insidious. But such a trap cannot just ruin reputations and careers. Far more lethal, such a trap can pull the soul away from our Savior-God.
Are you in such a trap? Even now, Jesus reaches for you. He calls you to repentance. Be refreshed in his forgiveness purchased at Calvary’s cross. Be empowered to replace your love of money with God’s love for you in Christ.
Lord Jesus, I think about money so much, and think about you so little. Forgive me. Refresh me in your Spirit. Dominate my thoughts once again. Amen.