Why You are too Dumb to Handle Powerball Money

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Imagine someone gave you a car that has a rocket engine; when you touch the accelerator on this car, as lightly as you can, it zooms to 90mph, and pressing firmly blasts it to 590mph. There is no seatbelt or airbag, and the brakes are no better than the ones on your Camry. Would this car be safe for you to drive around the city?  It wouldn’t even be safe to drive in the Utah Salt Flats! All this said, I think you would be better off with this car than having won the Powerball Lottery.  YOU CANNOT HANDLE THAT MUCH MONEY. Wielding the great force of instant lotto money is simply not one we were designed for to handle well.  No one would give this sort of money to your toddler or even to a 16 year old, but due to having a job and experience dealing with relatively tiny sums of money responsibly, people actually think they are equipped to handle something of this magnitude.

I hope you are at least aware of the stories behind lottery winners who lose it all. Here are just a few:  NY Times , 10 Who Lost it All.

Even if you don’t go bankrupt after winning it all, I believe you’d still be better off never having bought the ticket.  Immediately after winning, the nature of all your relationships will change in an instant.  This is because of sin; not only yours, but also everyone else’s.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Timothy 6:10).

A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished (Proverbs 28:20).

In other words, Biggie was right when he said,  “mo’ money, mo’ problems.”

I’m sure you’ve already cooked up in your head how you’ll use the money FOR God and/or for many various good causes.  I’ll get back to that, but for now, lets look at WHY we even want this absurd amount of money.

Oddly enough, the lotto doesn’t get much news or attention until it reaches an amount over several hundred million dollars, ($590,000,000 in this case)  which is more than half a billion. By the way, this is over half of what Yahoo just paid for Tumblr.  But now that the amount is so massive, everybody is talking about it, and people who normally don’t play?  Now they start buying tickets.  This is the initial sign of being out of whack.  You’re not even interested in 100 million, “but 600????  I GOTTA play!”

Money is a special thing not just in our society, but universally.  It’s always been this way.  The Bible is full of references, teachings and warnings concerning money and I think this is partly why: Anything can be monetized; money can buy power, sex, pleasure, possessions, security, drugs, entertainment, and more.  It can be used for both good and bad.  Therein, the desire for money can encompass a slew of other latent desires and sinful proclivities that you may not even realize. Satan tempts Jesus in Matthew 4:8-9 with “power and possessions”

While many people have the potential to struggle with one or two addictions along the lines of alcohol, drugs, sex, porn, etc., virtually EVERYONE deals with an addiction to money.  The universality of this struggle is just subtle because it looks different for every one.  Money is also essential for survival, making it an innately good thing; thus, one’s struggle with it can easily go undetected.

Think about it this way, if you ask a beer-drinker, “How many cans of Bud Light would you like?” and he answers “I’ll take 600 million please,” you would worry about this poor guy or perhaps think he’s insane.  If you ask someone, “how many times would you like to have sex?” and they answer,  “oh at least 600 million times a year,” you’d be troubled just the same.  This reminds me of how a 7 year old would answer if one asked him how many candy bars he’d like. Both of these examples (beer and sex) are absurd, but so is $600 million dollars. This is MUCH more than you would ever need to spend in a lifetime.  However, instead of conceding your ridiculous and childish desire for hilarious amounts of money, you’ll justify yourself through your plans to give away what you don’t need to “bless” others.

I would argue however that much in the same way, you won’t have the ability to do this effectively either.  The burden of managing who and how to give away big amounts of money is not something I’d wish on an enemy.  It even strikes me odd when some one says, “I’ll give God the money.”  God doesn’t need your money.  He is not currently limited by lack of funds.  I assure you, he’d rather see your faithfulness with little than to watch you struggle and destroy yourself (and others) with much.

I’ve had this very argument with dozens of people.  They all think that they are the exception to the rule.  THEY have the clever strategy for effectively using/spending that amount of money.  I think this naivety further reveals people’s sinful nature and greed, as does my final point:

Okay Matt, “Would you turn down that much money?”   HECK NO!!  ARE YOU CRAZY?!  I would figure out how to do it right!

Have a plan for your  $590 billion?  Share it.

What do you think?

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