This morning the subject was the lottery. Apparently two people won the lottery yesterday (neither of whom appear to be in my church), splitting some rather large amount of money. (I haven't read the news so I don't know the amount.)
The conversation revealed the great love of money that exists in people, and the lengths to which they would go to get it. Someone jokingly (I assume) asked another if they were one of the ones who had won. He said, "No, if I had won, I wouldn't be sitting here. I would be in Hawai-ya" (phonetic representation of his vocalization). He followed that up with "I'd take me five grass skirts and fill them over there." I wasn't entirely surely what he meant, but the mental picture was pretty clear to me.
Later the conversation turned to the identity of the winners, and whether or not someone had to reveal their identity to collect their winnings. One person said she would tell no one if they won. Another said he would climb up on a dome if that was what it took to collect the check.
Now, I continue to believe that the lottery is simply a tax on people who are bad at math. The odds of winning are so small, it amounts to giving away money. I told someone once they should just give the money to me, and I would immediately give them half of it back. That way they would be sure to get at least some money.
It is played by people for whom money is the sole aim of life. They think that they will be satisfied only when they have a lot of it.
Unfortunately this love of money is not a problem simply in the world. It is a problem in the church just as much as anywhere else. It is a problem that comes from human nature and our desire for self-worship.
The Bible warns us about the love of money many places, but notably in my mind, in 1 Timothy 6:9-10:
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Do you want grief to pierce your life? Do you want to wander away from the faith? Do you want ruin and destruction? Then love money.