That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God
“He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight,” (Lk16: 15).
Ordinarily, the carnal man is pleasure seeking and would be attracted by such things as exotic cars, nice homes, vacations, cruises, choice properties and good damsels among others. To him, life is good and full of fun. Sadly, however, he does not think about his soul, eternity, being Born Again or soul winning. Yet, no matter how hard he tries to push them aside, they will still count in the final analysis of things. This, therefore, puts the child of God on notice to ensure that he is constantly on self-evaluation and self-examination in order not to disappoint God his Maker.
Understandably, the Pharisees love money, as they took exception to Jesus’ teachings. We live in an age that measure people’s worth by how much money they make. Do you scoff at Jesus’ warning against serving money? Do you try to explain them away? Do you apply them to someone else? Unless we take Jesus’ statements seriously, we may be acting like Pharisees ourselves.
The Pharisees acted piously to get praises from others, but God knew what was in their hearts. They considered their wealth to be a sign of God’s approval. God detested their wealth because it caused them to abandon true spirituality. Though prosperity may earn people’s praise, it must never substitute for devotion and service to God.
Unfortunately today, some people spend their time and energy in the pursuit of wealth, as they think and feel it is the surest way to be easily noticed. Yes, some go out of their way to make wealth at the expense of their soul and integrity. What does the Bible say of such people? In pursuit of wealth, they have pierced their souls with many a sorrow. That was why Saint Paul said to Timothy, remember, “The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow” (I Tim. 6:10). Can we forget brother Demas in a hurry? He fell in love with the present world and abandoned Paul and the preaching of the gospel, (II Tim. 4:10).
But is God against wealth and resources? No is the answer. He is not against wealth. Indeed, His desire is that people should prosper and be in good health, (III John 1:2). I think and rightly too that one’s attitude towards wealth is very important. In the conversation Jesus had with the Pharisees, He told them a story about the shrewd manager, who upon learning that his master was to relieve him of his duty, connived with some people under him to falsify records so that he can fall back to them afterwards. His attitude was to remain in touch with wealth at all cost at the expense of his integrity. His attitude suits the carnal man, who is pleasure seeking. But he does not remember that there are things that are abominable unto the Lord. According to the Bible: “there are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hand that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers”, (Prov. 6:16-19).
As a child of God, think again about some other things carnal men glory in: musical super stars, soccer legends, great scholars, good innovators, seasoned administrators and celebrities of different fields. But do they have God’s approval? Can they at the end lead one to heaven? I think this is the time to think deeply about Jesus and the forgiveness He offers to mankind. In Him, the world is reconciled back unto God. We need to give Him a room in our hearts and by His cleansing blood, be assured of a place in His eternal kingdom.
Remember, we have only one short life to live. May we make use of the fullest opportunity that is available to us to live for Him and for Him alone. May God be our Helper!
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical
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