We were supposed to end our four-part series on Sex and Money last Wednesday, but I couldn't just leave it alone. There's one more thing that I need to say, and if you've paid attention to our discussion so far, what I'm going to write about today shouldn't surprise you.
The words that we've looked at the past three weeks - insanity, addiction, and glory - point us to the fact that our problems with Sex and Money will never be solved horizontally. Sex and Money madness are not first problems of situation, location, or relationship. Sex problems are not first biology or physiology problems. Societal sex addiction doesn’t exist because the body is a problem. The fact that we're sexual beings is not the problem. Sex problems are not first the problem of modern media.
Our money insanity is not the fault of money. This madness isn't first a matter of budget. Our problem isn't that credit exists or that things cost something. Our money madness isn’t about situation, location, or relationship. Our problem in both of these areas isn’t physical and horizontal. It’s a matter of the heart. Our problems are deeply spiritual.
The apostle Paul says something very striking in 2 Corinthians 5:20. He says that God has called us to be ambassadors of one message. All day, every day, we mustn’t forsake the diagnosis and cure of this solitary message. This message echoes God’s unceasing appeal. Here it is: “Be reconciled to God.”
You see, it’s all vertical. The madness that we’ve briefly considered the past month isn’t first horizontal, so it won’t be fixed horizontally. This insanity is vertical. It’s only when God is in his rightful place as the unchallenged Master of our hearts that everything else in our lives will be in their appropriate place as well. When something else replaces him, insanity and chaos of some kind always result.
In ways that are formative and practical, we begin to serve the creation as we were designed to serve the Creator, no matter what we say we believe. But it never works; it only leaves us empty, driven, and dissatisfied, the victims of our own bad choices. What we hoped would help us has in fact hooked us. And we cannot run from our problem, because the problem is us. It’s only when we live practically inside of what it means to be reconciled to God that we will hold the powerful glories of the created world in the way that they were designed to be held.
I want to end today's devotional with a challenge: take an honest look at your life. Either you have Sex and Money problems yourself, or you're near to someone who does. You’ve bought into the insanity, or someone near to you is mad. Look with me at these two places of cultural madness through the perfect window of the gospel of Jesus Christ and experience with me the wisdom and freedom that can be found only there.
I'm not going to leave you to do this alone. For the next few weeks, I'm going to post helpful material on Sex and Money that will help you to either deal with these issues in your own heart, or equip you to help others deal with these issues. I've already started to post videos on my YouTube channel, and I'll post articles and other free resources on my website.
If you haven't ordered the book yet, you can get your copy today. And keep your eye out for our DVD and small group curriculum that we're going to release in a few months.
- Why is it easier to blame the horizontal?
- What evidence is there that you might be struggling with Sex and Money madness?
- Who has God placed in your life that is struggling with Sex and Money madness?
Paul David Tripp