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Did you hear about the woman who divorced her husband because of religious differences? She worshiped money, and he didn't have a dime! While few people would admit to worshiping money, millions are driven by the desire for money and the things it can buy. A few years ago singer Doug Stone spoke the unspoken truth for many when he said in an insightful country song, "I'm addicted to a dollar that ain't worth a dime." Americans are inundated with warnings about the addictive and destructive nature of alcohol and other drugs. Experts warn constantly about the negative impact addiction to these substances has on human behavior. Perhaps it is time somebody warned us about the addictive nature of money. Mark Twain said, "The lack of money is the root of all evil." But that just isn't true, for many poor people are honest and morally upright while many rich people are evil and corrupt. While a lack of money can indeed make life difficult, the Bible points elsewhere for the true source of all evil. First Timothy 6:910 says, "Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. . . ." This verse does NOT say money is evil or that having a lot of it makes one evil. It DOES warn us that an unhealthy love of and desire for money has a powerful and negative impact on human behavior and priorities. This is true whether one is rich or poor!

Having money or not having money won't send one to hell. But desiring and loving riches more than we love God and His Word will bring about the ultimate loss the loss of the soul. Jesus seeks to warn us in Matthew 16:26 that monetary and material profit costs too much if it comes before or without God "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Henry Fielding gave warning about the destructive nature of being addicted to money when he said, "If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil." Jesus warns us yet again in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money)." Be careful you don't develop an addiction to money. A dollar really "ain't" worth a dime when it comes to saving your soul!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ