The following is an excerpt from my latest book "Sex and Money." To learn more or to pre-order your copy, visit www.paultripp.com/sex-and-money.
People ask me all the time what I'm working on or what I intend to write next. They always follow the first question with a second: "Why that now?" They've surely been intrigued when I've told them that I'm working on a book about sex and money, and so I want to answer the second question for you over the next three weeks - why did I choose to write about sex and money now? There are three words that have come to mind again and again, and they're my best answer to the question: INSANITY, ADDICTION, GLORY.
No, not mine, but the culture's. I'm deeply persuaded that when it comes to sex and money, we've gone culturally insane. The level of functional delusion, of self-deception and self-destruction that accompanies the way we approach these areas is simply crazy. You don't have to look very far:
- We have few female pop singers who are able to resist the powerful demands around them to disrobe and do dance routines that are little more than well-orchestrated simulations of sex;
- Terms like penis and vagina and tits and ass are in the accepted vocabulary of primetime TV;
- Young girls and young women attach their identity to how full their lips are, how thin their nose is, and how large their breasts are;
- Pornography isn't restricted to the bad neighbors and dark hallways of rundown buildings, but exists on Internet sites that are a Google click away from anyone with a computer;
- The size of personal, corporate, and governmental debt is itself a testament to a culture that, when it comes to money, has simply lost its mind;
- Our unsuspecting kids are sent countless unsolicited credit cards, encouraged to incur debt before they ever had a decent job, let alone anything you could call a career;
- Our children are taught the joys of materialism before they can calculate enough to make sense of their pocket change
- We now accept that it's sane to regularly spend money that we haven't yet acquired, as long as we can continue to pay the service fees on the card.
We're in trouble because, in two profoundly important places in life, what the human community tends to look at as normal isn't normal at all. It's a web of descending degrees of madness. But in the midst of the madness, there's only one window through which we can look at the worlds of sex and money and see with candor, clarity, and wisdom. This window is the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But here's the humbling truth about the Gospel - when it comes to sex and money, we don't have a thing problem; sex and money aren't actually evil in themselves. And we don't have an environment problem, as if our surroundings cause the difficulty. No, we are the problem.
The counter intuitive reality is that it's only ever the evil inside of us that magnetizes us toward and connects us to the evil that's outside of us. Since we are the problem, we really have a problem. We can run from a thing, we can change a relationship, and we can move to a different location, but we can't escape ourselves.
We need rescue, and because we need rescue, we need a Rescuer who is wise, powerful, willing, and faithful. That Rescuer is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is willing, he is able, and he will not forsake us in our time of need. So this week (and it'll probably even happen today), when you're confronted with the sexual and financial insanity of our culture, and the sin inside you makes it look attractive and appealing, you only have one place to turn.
So this week - and it'll probably even happen today - when you're confronted with the sexual and financial insanity of our culture, and when the sin inside of you makes it look attractive and appealing, you only have one hope. Your hope is a person, and His name is Jesus.
- How does the sexual and financial insanity of our culture intrude upon you and your family?
- Why is it difficult to admit that the sin inside of you is ultimately your biggest problem?
- Is there any evidence that might point to your own insanity in these areas?
- Are you living in honest relationships where fellow believers can see and reveal your insanity?
Paul David Tripp