Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Brass Teapot and the Power of Money

I just finished watching a movie called "The Brass Teapot."  It was a fascinating movie about a teapot that had magical powers.  It would magically produce money ($100 bills) when the owners of the teapot would hurt themselves.  Over time, hurting oneself paid less and less but then the owners discovered that if someone else got hurt, the teapot started producing again.  So of course the owners went around trying to find people that were in pain.  Again, over time, that paid less and less until they discovered that intentionally wounding each other and other people emotionally paid a lot.  Finally, they got to the point where they were willing to kill someone (a "bad" person, like a pedophile) just to get the money.  Thankfully, they didn't go through with the murder, but the teapot was stolen and they were witnesses to a 4-person murder as two different groups of people fought over the teapot.  This convinced the original owners to get rid of the teapot for their own sake.

This movie really hit home with me.  I don't think I'm alone when I say that I sometimes struggle with the desire for more money.  And to make matters worse, rather than just confessing this sin and bringing it to the One who can break the power of that desire, I will try to appease the prickings of the Holy Spirit by listing all the "good" things I would do if I had more money.  It's pretty frustrating for me to struggle with this because, as I've written in the past, I'm naturally a pretty generous person.  I love giving money away and helping other people.  I truly do.  I don't know why I struggle with this sin except that maybe God allows this struggle in my life to keep me from being prideful about having a gifting of generosity.  It's God who empowers me to be open-handed with our money and if I did not have His Spirit working within me, I know I'd be spending every penny on ourselves, to heck with those in need. 

For people like me, being rich would almost certainly ruin me.  The Bible warns us repeatedly about the love of and desire for money; that we can't pursue both God and money.  If we are pursuing and loving money, we've rejected God and are (probably) headed for hell.  If I was rich, I think that would be me, and that's a very scary and troubling thought.  I pray that God only gives us as much money as is good for us and I work at continuing to cultivate a spirit of generosity in my life so that money never becomes something that has power over me. 

1 Timothy 6:9-11  "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  But you, man of God, flee from all this and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness."

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