Root of all evil: Money is taking man away from God, the way serpent did

 

Money is a major factor in our day-to-day living. It dominates conversations. In social gatherings, people are always talking about how to make money, how money was lost or how to spend it. 

People come from the village to the city to look for money. Others leave the country and go abroad to look for money. Many relationships have been built around money, and they collapse when there is no money anymore. Families are built up and brought down by money.

A young man’s ambition to marry his dream girl hits an iceberg when what is demanded as pride price is beyond what he can afford. Bright students have missed their places in prestigious schools because of the lack of money. Millions are sleeping hungry because they lack money.

People flood churches with one of the top prayers being; “God, give me money!” Poverty is deemed a demon exorcised by money. Riches are a faith factor with the rich in faith exhibiting kingdom wealth. Instead of the church extending its love to serve the poor, the poor are urged to improve their faith to attain abundance. 

Joy and happiness do not stand alone – they are attached to money. Pastors who teach righteousness have tiny congregations while those who teach on wealth-consciousness have overflowing crowds. 

With these kinds of perspectives, when the market fumbles, our value crashes with it. The mammon prince of this world blinds many, even within the church, from discerning the precious nonfluctuating blood value set by an old rugged cross and affirmed by an empty tomb.

Good leaders are not elected because they have no money for a wasteful campaign. The morally messy yet have money gain power to make more money. A government does not see souls and citizens anymore – it sees money makers and taxes them till they lose consciousness. It does not bend to pick them up. Their cries fall on deaf ears – the god that’s money has no mercy when coming for what is Caesar’s.

Money pushers have convinced many that money is life so much that money has been exalted to the status of a god. Jesus fights this when He says; “You cannot serve both God and money.” We sure need both God and money but both cannot be God – one must be false. This elevation of money to a place of rivalling God rings the bells of the serpent’s wit to win the loyalty of Adam and Eve. Just like the serpent succeeded then, money succeeds today. If we were to engage the statement that “The love of money is the root of all evil” we arrive at the “serpenthood” of money.

In Kenya religion is big and so is money. While it is easy to think of serving God, what does serving money look like? The implication is that when money takes the place of God, its command leads you to a place where God is not.

Some churches audit success, not in terms of souls saved but shillings saved. Denominations and congregations are often described in economic language as “rich” or “struggling.” Ecumenical dynamics report poorer denominations feeling bulldozed by richer denominations. Pastors are assessed in economic categories.

The successful pastor leads a luxurious life, which in turn becomes the aspiration of other pastors. The cash-centricism destroys a critical fact that what brings peace is not wealth but love. Wealth is a tool for propagating love. Wealth is a servant of love. Money hunters end up with a mountain of money but spend their lives wondering why they’re not happy. Love is the true wealth. Loving is the purpose of living. A most disastrous transaction is buying the world with your soul. How victorious is the one who gains and chains your soul!

A country is branded as struggling when its economy is struggling. Really? Is money all there is to measure the quality of life in a community? It does not matter that the citizens of that country have a high sense of community, and are strikingly peaceful and visibly joyful. It does not matter that the people who live in that country exercise good neighbourliness liberally. It does not matter that generosity is an ingrained day-to-day practice, sharing their having and their lacking. 

It does not matter that the community has deep wells of a progressive spirituality. As things are, prices, profits, losses and loans are what make up the worth of a people. A question looms: Is money all that people need to be happy? Surely, with the innovation gospel preached around the world today, there must be another way!

A young country, convinced that money is the way, launches money-hunting trips with the irony of a president flying first class on a journey to present the problems of a third-world country. Layers of loans begin to deface a country’s possibilities. A begging reputation soils a people’s dignity.

Mortgaging a country moves from a threat to a reality. Political regimes blame one another for mismanaging the economy, not knowing that each successive government opens its chapter of mismanagement, only now in a different way.

Good times are quickly cut short because the plan behind the scenes is that we move at the speed of our sponsors. For any development, a Western trademark must prominently appear as having funded the success. We are African, but until things change – until we arise - Africa is not yet our business.

The humiliation of foreign trips to lender countries begging for debt forgiveness only to return home with requests denied demeans the voice of people at the Table of Nations. Their voice weakens with a weak shilling and global respect strengthens with a strong shilling.

In a state where money is king, revenue collectors are the chief priests. Where money is king, it is the dominant reason, excuse and yield. Where cash is king, values like peace, joy and compassion are ignored. Where money is king, age is not a basis for respect – one’s cash reserves are the basis of honour. Where money is king, the poor are to blame for their condition, and corruption is not a vice but only a dimension of competition.

Where money is king, the territory is viciously guarded with only lesser gods allowed in - a superior God is fought (even bought?) With everything money can afford. Money may be king but it can and should be deposed.

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