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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Personal Responsibility August 23


For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith. 1 Tim. 6:10.

The kind of person we are is revealed by the values and the principles that control us. Certain values take possession of us. From then on they determine how we live. The Bible has a lot to say about money. It does not condemn it. The real issue centers in our use of it. It is "the love of money" that is the root of all evil. On this point there is no distinction between those who are wealthy and those who are not.

There are two possibilities: to be Christians with an open hand, or with a closed hand. When dealing with people we all prefer the first. We are not attracted to the man who is tightfisted; who gathers up every penny he can get; who squeezes out of us, in one way or another, every possible dime; who in our work and dealings with him gives us the bare minimum, even less than we have earned or deserved.

In the story of Ruth, Boar gave instructions to his reapers not to gather up the wheat in the field too closely; to let some sheaves fall here and there so that the poor people could gather up behind the reapers. We like that kind of man.

However, to get and save with indifference to the value and needs of people, is a corrosive element in the character. When we hoard money and use it only for ourselves, then the virtue of thrift becomes a vice. The peril is in the transition from a normal desire for money to the passion to obtain wealth as an end in itself. To get wealth for no other reason than to increase it, is unhealthy.

Judas became a very covetous man. On condition that he would tell them where Jesus was, the leaders of the Sanhedrin promised to pay him thirty pieces of silver, about fifty dollars in American money. Judas had a talent for handling affairs, the gift of management, a commercial fact; he was a man of business. The love of money mastered his better impulses. It drove him to betray the Son of God, the best of men. In despair Judas hanged himself.

The incident is full of warning. Do you ever sell your conscience for money? Do you ever betray your sense of right for perhaps even less than thirty pieces of silver?

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