Our world is positively infatuated with the idea of love. We tell stories about it, sing songs about it, and talk about it CONSTANTLY. We fight for it, cling to it, and spend our entire lives searching for it. It is without question one of the best things about this world. No one in their right mind would argue that love is a bad thing… right?
Now before you close your laptop, phone, or whatever you are reading this on, hear me out. I promise I’m not a psychopath.
The kind of love that I’m talking about isn’t what I described above. The love I’m talking about is the love of money. Yeah I know. Not really as scandalous as you thought, right? Anyway, now that you know that I do, in fact, love love, let’s get into it.
This past Thursday, a 74-year-old mental health counselor in Evansville, Indiana was convicted of felony health care fraud for submitting over 2,000 false claims to Medicaid and Medicare totaling over $186,000. Barbara Witte had been billing her patients’ Medicaid and Medicare accounts for services that she had never given them and pocketing the extra money.
The article that I found this information on doesn’t give a ton of information about this case aside from the cold hard facts, so I figured I’d enlist the help of my imagination. Maybe one day, Barbara made an honest mistake and billed Medicare or Medicaid for a service that she had not given one of her patients. She may not have realized until she got the reimbursement for an amount much more than what she had expected. Maybe she told herself that she would never do it again, and didn’t for a while. A sudden shortage of money or an unexpected expense may have reminded her of this easy way to get a little bit more money, so she started racking up the fraudulent charges bit by bit. Before she knew it, she had stolen thousands of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid. Maybe she was well-intentioned with the money, maybe she was just greedy. We simply do not know. However you look at it though, the problem at the core of her illegal activities was the love of money, and love makes you do crazy things.
Here is the article for those interested in reading the whole story:
Paul Tripp, in his book Sex and Money, talks about this love of money, and why it is so dangerous. He writes about the fact that the love of money puts the individual at the center of their lives, not God. It supplants what should be our ultimate desire and replaces it with something finite that will never be able to fulfill our deepest longings for meaning and worth. This love convinces us that we are able and that we deserve to write our own rules to live by. It causes us to do crazy, sinful things in order to obtain more money (Tripp 171–177). This is what 1 Timothy 6:10 means when it says, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.”
So how do we fight this love of money that so easily permeates our lives? It’s not easy. It is a process that no man or woman will ever fully complete, but it starts with recognizing that any and all blessings that we have come directly from God. When we recognize this, we are able to begin to see that all that we have is on loan to us, and God can take it away just as easily as He can give it.
I think a huge part of this process is prayer. We must diligently go before the Father and ask Him to help us in our struggle against the love of money. It is a sin that is so easily overlooked, especially in its smaller, less noticeable forms. We need a spiritual awareness that only comes from the Lord if we are to accurately judge the areas in our lives where the love of money presents itself and overcome them.
For more about this idea, here is a great article: