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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Almighty Dollar

"Cash Rules Everything Around Me. C.R.E.A.M. Get the money. Dollar, dollar bills y'all." – Method Man

Money Over Everything.

Everyday I’m Hustling.

Steady Getting Paper.

 We praise you, Almighty Dollar. 

Sounds crazy, right? I’m praising money. In fact I worship it. No, I don’t light candles and sacrifice a lamb to the Almighty Dollar, but I pursue it. I need money. I want money. You see, we may not realize it but a majority of us have the propensity of making the Almighty Dollar our God. I didn’t realize how much I loved money until I started going to church and the issue of paying tithes came up. Initially, I felt as if paying tithes was just a part of the churches get rich scheme. Why on earth would God put in the bible to give 10%? How did they even come up with that percentage?

Well, to make a long story laconic, at one point I was paying my tithes and then I stopped. I was now able to take that 10% that would have went to the church and spend it on myself. I was so excited to be able to keep this money. But something funny happened. For some reason I never got a chance to see the extra 10% that I was now able to keep. It would just evaporate. I didn’t know where my money was going. I would get paid and a few days later I would be close to $0 in the bank account. 

And then I had an epiphany. No matter if you think paying tithes is just a bunch of BS someone made up or not… paying your tithes is a test of your faith. Who are you going to put your trust in? The dollar or God? It took a lot for me to get back on track but one of my New Year resolutions was to pay my tithes faithfully. I am not going to sit here and say now that I pay my tithes I have been blessed with more money. No, that hasn’t happened. But I can say that I am not struggling. I pay my tithes and I can still pay all my bills, go shopping, have a little fun and even put a few dollars away in savings. I’m not hurting. I learned a valuable lesson; walk by faith and not by sight. Even when your bank account says you can’t, God says you can. And if you trust in him, well, he is going to take care of everything else. It’s a test of your faith. And even if some greedy priest added the whole 10% tithe passage into the bible, I don’t think God is going to hold it against you, if you show him that you are trying to follow what is written in the bible. In fact, I think he will be impressed by your willingness to serve him. But you must believe that the bible is guileless, its the only ground you have to stand on as a Christian. 

And then I came across this verse in the bible: 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ (Matthew 6:33) and I realized then, that so many of us have our priorities in the wrong order. In this verse, Jesus pretty much says that all you need to do is seek God, and he will give you everything else. So when I sign-on to Facebook and I read down my timeline, I realize that so many of us are chasing after the wrong things. I am sure you have seen it. The Facebook statuses that read ‘I’m chasing this paper’, ‘Money over everything’, and all that other noise. We can declare our love for money but when it comes to declaring our love for God we become reticent. What they really should be saying is ‘I’m chasing God’, ‘God over everything’, and all that praise. The bible says that you cannot severe two Gods: "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6:24) But we can’t see that. We are too blind in this land of the living dead. We want money because it provides a false guarantee of ease, treasures and power. We want the material things that ostentatiously declares superiority. The diamonds. The cars. The clothes. But the bible talks about that too. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21) 

And just to make things a little more clear, I want to reference a few definitions. One of Webster Dictionaries definitions of God is ‘a person or thing of supreme value’. Webster defines worship as ‘to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion’.

We say we believe in God but what we really believe in is the money. On this earth, wealth seems to be the answer for everything. But it’s all an illusion and its not perennial. You will never be satiated with riches alone. Money doesn’t buy you happiness. It can provide you with convenience and luxuries, but happiness comes from within. And as we see with so many celebrities, wealth is sometimes onerous, pulling them farther away from God.  I am not saying having money is a bad thing. But having a penchant for money will corrupt your heart.