I'm not much of a fishermen. That might even be a stretch. I guess I should say I don't fish anymore. I did as a kid. One thing I really didn't like about fishing was hooks. I hated putting a worm on a hook. I got my finger caught on one. I also hated taking fish off the hook, particularly those that I was going to throw back. Which was 99.9% of the fish I caught! Getting the hook out was not always an easy process, mainly because they were designed, this is going to sound really profound, to hook things. To capture a fish in such a way that it will not be easily released from its barb. Releasing the fish is hard work and sometimes injuring to the fish. I'm not saying that you shouldn't fish…hey, I like fish and chips just as much as the next guy. I'm just thinking about things that hook you.
Money is a Hook
“Hook, line and sinker” is a fishing phrase that describes when someone is easily deceived. Merriam Webster defines it as: without reservation or hesitation: completely. To use it in a sentence: “he fell for the story, hook, line and sinker”. The other day I was thinking about some of my problems and difficulties in life and the thought popped in my mind that I needed more money. If I just had cash to throw at my circumstances a lot of them would be dealt with. In some regards, it was a true statement. Money will often buy some solutions to our problems. I think that is why we embrace lottery thinking. You will go to the convenience store and see the Lotto 649 or LottoMax multi-million total posted on a sign and you think, “what would I do with that money”. We start to fantasize about how we would solve all our problems and concerns and then take the excess and build a carefree life and existence. I have often joked that, “money may not solve all your problems, but it will get you a classier set of problems.” But recently, I have started to see it for what it is – a hook of the world. And money is an angler supreme and we fall for it: hook, line and sinker.
We live in a consumer driven society. We need money to exist. If I don't make money: I don't eat, I don't have accommodation, I don't have a vehicle, I don't have clothes, I basically don't have anything. Money is the great provider. One of the worst things I did as a parent (and i've done some stupid things) is tell my kids when we were at a store when they wanted something that the reasons we couldn't buy it was because we couldn't afford it. Which may have been partially true, but the main reason was because it wasn't needed, necessary or a priority. But it was easier to say, “We can't afford it”. What I did in that moment was bait the hook. My children now believe that money can be the provider of what you need if you just have enough of it.
It's quite amusing that on some American coins is written the phrase “In God We Trust”, because for the most part I think
for many of us on our hearts is the phrase, “In money we trust”
“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.
Money vies for your allegiance. Money wants you to place its trust in it. It wants you to believe that it is the only thing that is going to come through for you. But it's a lie. Here is the rub, the best lies come shrouded in some truth. The truth is in North America we need money to live. The truth we often forget is that ultimately God is the giver of everything and that he is the one that will provide for our every need according to his riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), When you are desperate and in need, you can feel the hook pull.
Trying to extract this hook from your life is hard. It's barb can dig deep into the core of who you are.
You must daily choose to trust in God, rather than money. God tells us we cannot serve two masters.
God help us not to take the hook.