Leaving Texas Tech University in 1999 I did not have the tools I needed to move forward in my passion. But instead, I focused on a different tool. As you may remember from the post, Opening a Twenty-Year-Old Wound, I left school dropping my dreams at the door to pursue a life of wealth. I let the opinion on one person steer me off course for the next twenty years.
However, I cannot completely blame her as her argument was sound to me at the time. See she convinced me that the reason I attended school was to get the proper education so I can make money. Doesn’t sound all that off course does it. The problem was that I knew better. I knew that the “love of money is the root of all evil” and her perspective was for the love of money.
The pursuit of money, sadly, reigned over my life for many years and I still struggle with it today. When I left SEL last year, I was convinced that my craft would bring me millions. There has not been a day go buy since then that I haven’t wrestled with letting go of the desire to make money. But have you ever asked why the love for money is so bad?
Money is just like any of the other tools
I don’t love my hammer, but it comes in handy in so many situations. Nothing about my lawnmower makes me dream about it at night and check on it each morning. In contrast, I check my bank account religiously. I have stress dreams over not having enough money. What is it about this tool above all other tools causes so much anxiety.
Satan is no dummy and God knows this. In a letter to Timothy, Paul warns him of the corruptions that seeking fortune and fame can have on even the strongest of men. Our perception of what money can do for us hasn’t changed for thousands of years. When we have the means to pursue foolish things, we have a harder time saying no to them.
Years ago when I was in the Navy, I smoked pretty regularly. Each time I decided to quit, I would intentionally have a pack of cigarettes to remind me of the fight and that I am being strong. That line of thinking, however, is incredibly flawed. I would tell myself that I am strong enough to quit even if the temptation is sitting right in front of me.
I didn’t quit until I obtained completely from smoking. That means not hanging around fellow smokers or spending money on the item to begin with. Now, almost 15 year later, the smell of cigarette smoke turns my stomach. I didn’t accomplish this by allowing my weak will to be tempted, but to control the habit by stopping the purchase.
Our fore-fathers were not immune either
But fear not, you are not alone if you struggle with the love of money. As much as we put our founding fathers on a pedestal for creating this great country we live in, they also had a weakness for the love of money. This love was to such a degree that the tools they chose to use to increase their status were fellow human beings. This choice is known as “America’s Greatest Shame.”
In school we are taught that America went to Civil war over slavery. The proud American in us wants to paint the picture that the war was a result of civil injustice. But I challenge you to put down your history book and look at accounts of authors during that time and not the story written later. The South did not secede from the nation because of civil unrest, they were afraid of losing their greatest commodity.
Thankfully, the greater good won, but it was only a temporary win. Today, we see that same love for money running rampant in our systems and it creates a classist society that pits itself against each other. Today we label these fights, racism, drug addiction, welfare, and the prison system. But all these fights are just tools the elite use to keep their greatest tool, people, under control
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