I am really showing extremes these past two days…maybe its time to look at what wrong with excessive luxuries as opposed to being prosperous.
When I was being mentored for the ministry, my very first word of instruction was to beware of the three sins – power, money sex.
I have watched others who have not regarded these instruction or took them lightly – fall.
Basically, the instructions include this simple rule – fall for one, fall for all.
This is where excessive luxuries come in. It’s not the wealth that ruins a soul. it’s the sense of power that does.
The sense of influence that is gained because of wealth.
That power and ability and opportunity to influence, changes people, it will change you and I.
You begin to see signs of rudeness, insolence and pride and maybe in its right connotation, proud voluptuousness, found in frivolous luxury. Frivolous luxury is the spending of money that makes those you do business with, wealthy. It may even mean that when you cease with spending, the people who do business with you, and are so dependent on you, and have become wealthy themselves for their association with you, go into mourning and depression, doomed, bankruptcy to follow.
I still remember the day a friend came to me to show his statement of investments. It was at $900,000. He said in three more months he would be a millionaire. Something called Black Monday took place one month later, and I saw him shortly afterwards. We talked a bit about investments and he showed me his investment statement – valued at $100,000. I could only imagine the sense of loss of so much money, money that could have been used to save lives, possibly given to him in order that he might engage in the business of saving lives – in our world, it was all lost.
The desire for excessive luxuries causes one to do things that one would never even have contemplated in times past. With me being such a part of the Church – and I love the Church – we have all seen some incredible things take place in the name of pursuing incredibly excessive luxuries – pretending to sell heaven. We have seen the selling of pardons and indulgences, selling of special services to fetch souls out of purgatory, television evangelists who make more money in one year than Michael Jackson and Madonna put together. We could all name names.
The answer is the same as with any other discussion on prosperity or never lacking – it is taking on one of the characteristics of God – give when He has given to you – you will never have excessive luxuries to worry about, to take time away from God and your family, or to protect and maintain. I know it is an extreme, but have you heard of individuals, especially those with incredible salaries making decisions to live on 10% and give away 90% of their income each year? It is a shame that we do not hear of this in our papers as much as the negative publicity of our Christian friends who have fallen to the desire of excessive luxuries. These men and women are those who very well may know that there could be a risk of losing their eternal riches being stored in heaven if they allow their earthly possessions rule them.
May we all stay as humble in our walk on this earth as Christ did, may we all take what God has asked us to be stewards of and hold them in our hands, palms open, so that God can use those very same gifts for His glory, and His purposes and may the New Year be filled with adventure as we watch God changes hearts and lives through His Word and through us.