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Monopoly - The Pursuit of More

If people work to attain a certain level of prosperity, thinking then they will be happy, they quickly become accustomed to their prosperity, grow discontent, and start striving for the next level.
  • David Jeremiah Turning Point
  • 2008 11 Feb
Monopoly - The Pursuit of More
In 1934, the American people had a monopoly on depression. The stock market had crashed in 1929 and millions of workers were jobless. Industrious citizens tried to find ways to feed themselves and their families. So Charles B. Darrow invented a board game and took it to Parker Brothers, calling it MONOPOLY®.

Here's some MONOPOLY trivia:

  1. More than 200 million games have been sold since 1935.
  2. The longest game in history lasted 70 days.
  3. The total amount of MONOPOLY money in a set is $15,140.

How fitting that a game about living the high life as a financier was introduced at a time when the country was trying to rebound from its worst economic depression. People dreamed that money, wealth, and power were the answer to all of life's problems.

How Much Does It Take?
If people work to attain a certain level of prosperity, thinking then they will be happy, they quickly become accustomed to their prosperity, grow discontent, and start striving for the next level.

Church growth strategists have found that within three generations of the Gospel having penetrated a primitive culture, resulting in increased wealth and higher standards of living, people start losing interest in the very spiritual truths that pulled them out of poverty. A little bit of money creates a longing for more.

What Solomon Discovered
Solomon found that wealth does not-indeed, cannot-satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. And yet he tried to make it happen.

In spite of all his wealth, King Solomon was a dissatisfied soul. He discovered that money and power were not the secrets to happiness. He had escalated his expectations farther than anyone in history and met them all, only to find that money could not meet his expectation for happiness.

He tried satiating himself with wine and exotic food served in solid gold vessels, but that didn't work (1 Kings 4:22-23). Then he tried to find happiness by spending money on building projects (Ecclesiastes 2:4-6). Still nothing. So he started accumulating "stuff:" servants, wives, concubines, flocks, herds, singers, gold and silver (1 Kings 11:3; Ecclesiastes 2:7-8). But the dull ache of emptiness just wouldn't go away.

The God-Shaped Vacuum
The vacuum in the human heart is not money-shaped, but God-shaped. When Solomon tried to fill that vacuum with everything except God, He grew more and more dissatisfied. The book of Ecclesiastes recounts Solomon's sorrowful search for meaning in life and how he finally realized it could be found in God alone (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Classifying Currencies
What, then, is the purpose of wealth? If God is supposed to fill our hearts, what are we supposed to do with money? Nowhere does the Bible say that money is evil or that to have it, even in large quantities, is inappropriate, much less a sin. Our problem is the "love of money" (1 Timothy 6:10). Money is neither good nor bad. Paper currency is nothing more than a man-made means of exchange.

The problem comes when we try to use money as a medium of exchange in an eternal kingdom. To function in an eternal kingdom, we need an eternal currency. The currencies in the kingdom of God are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You recognize these as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And they come only from God.

Economists refer to "guns and butter" as the staples of this world, and they can only be bought with money. But the staples of God's eternal kingdom can only be purchased with that which the Holy Spirit provides.

Solomon's Syndrome
To do business with the world, you need temporal means-money. But to do business with God, you need eternal means-a heart of love, joy, peace . . . the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Don't try to monopolize anything finite, like money. But accumulate all you can of the limitless fruit of the Spirit-that's a perfectly legal monopoly in the kingdom of God!

This article was excerpted from Turning Points,Dr. David Jeremiah's devotional magazine. Call Turning Point at 1-800-947-1993 for your complimentary copy of Turning Points.