Going Mental Over Money
What happens when a loved one dies? (No, Google doesn’t bombard you with casket ads . . . yet.) Some relatives grieve while others lose the ability to hide the crazy. It doesn’t matter if the estate was worth millions or little more than a shopping cart full of trinkets, the greediness of some people springs forth. It seems like every family has one or more irksome souls who start grabbing as much for themselves as possible when a relative passes away. Along with their greed and selfishness is their compulsion to inflame old wounds and dissention in their family. What are they trying to prove? You’d have to ask a psychiatrist or Dear Prudie. Such loathsome folk are in grave (no pun intended) danger.
If a person is willing to steal or manipulate the law to get more than their share from the deceased at the expense of other living relatives, something has gone horribly wrong in their life. They may feel justified because they were wronged by the deceased or other family members. Or perhaps they feel entitled because they had a great relationship with the deceased. Either way, corruption in their heart can damage their mental health, and that of others. How so?
Believers and even many unbelievers know of that famous Scripture about the love of money found in 1st Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil . . .” But the preceding verse is even more chilling: “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”
We shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that just because we don’t desire to be a billionaire we are immune from this danger. If you are poor, a thousand dollars seems like a lot of money. Regardless of what number we consider to be rich, we should take note of the words “ruin” and “destruction” in verse 9. These two words can mean many things. So allow me give you an example of what it can look like.
After the death of the family patriarch, one of the patriarch’s son’s, Frank (not his real name), took more than his share of money, real estate, and other property from the patriarch’s estate. His actions resulted in many fights and raw feelings with his siblings. Tragically, Frank has gradually deteriorated into bitterness and periodic irrational thinking and behavior. One of Frank’s siblings has also started to display bouts of irrational thinking and paranoia since Frank betrayed their trust over money.
THIS is one example of what the Bible means by “ruin” and “destruction.” It’s a cautionary tale of the dangers of letting money have too much influence in our mind and heart. If something goes wrong with our money, it can literally make us crazy (yes, I know that is not the correct clinical term) . . . especially if we are not on sure footing in our faith and thought life. We all have flaws and wounds. When we encounter a bump in the road with money, it can exacerbate those flaws and wounds. Fortunately, God can restore our mental health. But first, it may require letting go of our right to be angry over old hurts. God will take it from there.