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The game MONOPOLY was invented in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression by an unemployed man from Pennsylvania.  Parker Brothers rejected the game, citing “52 design errors.”  Undaunted, the man sold 5,000 handmade copies, approached Parker Brothers again, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, over 250 million games have been sold in 103 countries in 37 languages.  5,120,000,000 little green houses have been constructed for the game.  Estimates are that nearly 500 million people have played the game of MONOPOLY.*

Holy cow.  We do have a taste for the green stuff, don’t we?

Why do we chase after money, pine for it, mourn the lack of it, or flaunt the wealth of it?  People who have lots of it are considered “successful”, while those who lack it (supposedly) deserve our sympathy.

Growing up in Montana, I saw people who couldn’t afford three squares a day or a Christmas present for their children.  Then during my career as an opera singer, I interacted with patrons of the arts who could buy a car with the change in their Gucci wallets. 

I’ve known some godly poor people, some messed up poor people, some messed up rich people and some godly rich people.  Apparently, a person’s bank account balance does not rise or fall in proportion to their character.

I have wondered over the disparity, though.  Why are there “haves” and “have nots”?  Has God “blessed” some people with money and forgotten others?

And what about tithing?  Why would the God of abundance require us to give ten per cent of everything we make?  Couldn’t He just provide for us all?

Here’s my take, for whatever it’s worth:

Money is only a tool in God’s hand to grow us as human beings.

Perhaps the lacking of money is meant to teach dependence upon Him, the benefits of simplicity, or humility.  Perhaps the having of money is meant to teach generosity, that material possessions don’t bring lasting joy, or that wealth is not a barometer of the heart.  Perhaps tithing is for our benefit – to teach us to give what we have so freely taken.

Perhaps it is all meant to draw us to Him.

This is God’s modus operandi.  Whatever He chooses to give or withhold is meant to teach us and draw us into deeper relationship with Him.

Let us regard money as the tool that it is.

And let us pursue the Carpenter, not the chisel in His hand.

 

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:23-25, NIV)

*Source: Hasbro web site

 

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