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The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil— some, longing for it, have gone astray from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10 (TLV)
In my post I want to answer the question how does the love of money affect the life of a believer?
Let us look at one of the most known stories in the Bible and see what can we learn from it. Our story is found in 2 Kings 5.
Naaman was a Syrian general. However, he had a big problem— he was a leper. But he also had a Jewish slave girl who one day told his wife about a man of God who lives in Israel. She told them the good news! And Naaman believed the good news and walked by faith to Israel to meet this man of God.
He went first to the King of Israel, but the King was not able to heal Naaman. Elisha heard about the Syrian general and send a word to the king to send Naaman to him. Naaman arrived at Elisha’s place and the prophet told him through a messenger
Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be clean. 2 Kings 5:10 (TLV)
In the beginning he did not want to obey the message from the man of God. However, he finally did and got healed. Next, he wanted to show his gratitude by giving some gifts to the prophet but Elisha refused them.
Naaman leaves Elisha, but our story
1. The love of money will affect your mind
Everything starts with a thought. In verse 20 (TLV) we read
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Behold, my master held back from accepting what this Naaman the Aramean brought. As Adonai lives, I will surely run after him and get something from him.”
Gehazi had a conversation in his heart with himself. He thought his leader, Elisha, made a mistake by letting Naaman leave without some form of payment.
The love of money will always make you think about yourself. I am sure his life was not easy with Elisha as I am sure Elisha’s life with Elijah was not easy. However, we do not read that he ever complained.
Gehazi probably thought the money from Naaman was an opportunity from God and thought it is petty to miss God’s blessing. But they were not a blessing. The love of money will always affect your discernment!
Gehazi began thinking of himself and his needs and found excuses for his sin. Next, he came up with a plan on how to take the money from Naaman. You know your mind is ill when you make plans to sin!
2. The love of money will affect your actions
So Gehazi pursued Naaman. Now when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right?”
The love of money will make you run after someone you should not run. The love of money will make you run after people and not after God.
And when you will go through a financial crisis— as we all do now and then— you will start thinking of how people can help you. Sometimes, you can also get angry because the people around you do not want to see your needs and do something about it.
It is important what you do when a financial crisis comes into your life. To whom will you go will prove who really is the God of your life. How we act in a crisis tells a lot about us. More then we like to believe.
What if in the middle of a financial crisis someone offers to help you with money but you sense God wants you not to accept the offer as He has something else in His heart for you? One needs to learn about God’s guidance and what to do in hard situations.
3. The love of money will affect your talk
In verse 22 we read (TLV)
It’s all right, he replied. “My master sent me saying: ‘Behold, two young men of the sons of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothes.’”
He is lying to Naaman. However, he tries to make himself look good in the eyes of the Syrian general by asking for money, not for himself but the ministry! For two young missionaries or two men of God— not for himself.
How many use this lie in our days? People ask for money for an orphanage in India or Africa or a Church somewhere in Eastern Europe or Asia. And people generously give money trusting the one who is asking, maybe a minister. But upon a closer look one will find that actually, the money ended up in the pocket of the minister.
[I am not saying that any person who is asking for money for an orphanage or a church or whatever is lying. But we need to pray and ask for wisdom]
Naaman gives Gehazi more then he asked. Probably, he thought that God blessed him over his expectations. Indeed, he received more than he asked— he received leprosy too.
Naaman even gave him two servants to carry the goodies— imagine how heavy everything was if it
The love of money will make you lie people
Then Gehazi lied to Elisha. When Elisha asked him (vs. 25) where was he, Gehazi said that he had gone nowhere. Thank God he did not say that he was at Church, praying or reading the Bible.
Needless to say that Gehazi was not able to lie to the Spirit of God. He lied to himself and Naaman and tried to lie Elisha but he did not succeed in lying to the Lord. Elisha asked him a question that is key for our post. In verse 26 (TLV) Elisha said
Is it a time to accept money and accept clothes, or olive groves and vineyards, or sheep and oxen, or male and female servants?
Is it a time to accept…There is a time for everything. But the love of money will deceive you in knowing the times. The love of money makes one believe it is time to receive when it is time to give. The love of money wants to take money not to give.
The love of money affected his calling. Gehazi could have become the next great man of God in Israel. The love of money made him lose his testimony and the testimony of the gospel— that the God of Israel can heal people. And Naaman was supposed to go back home and tell everybody the good news about the God of Israel. And that healing cost him nothing— that it was all by the grace of God.
There are too many people out there claiming to be men of God who are asking money from others to pray for healing for them. Or pray
Gehazi also lost his health and he brought a curse over the next generations.
The spirit of Gehazi and the spirit of mammon is alive today in many congregations. There are many Gehazi among believers. However, let us pay attention to ourselves to not become a Gehazi. Indeed, nobody can serve two masters— Matthew 6:24!
Therefore, let us ask for grace and the Spirit of God to break the yoke of the love of money in our lives. As the love of money leads to spiritual death and a spiritual leper. Ask God to search your heart and let us all have a moment of repentance. And let us humble ourselves before the Lord.
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