Better Than I Deserve
3/2/13 at 01:58 PM 0 Comments

Bleeding Green

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Jack Wellman, 2013

A few years ago the county voted to allow a large casino to be built. The promise was that the county residents would have their tax bill lowered, several local jobs would be added and that the schools would receive grants for each student, including scholarships to graduating seniors. Ironically, the residents who live around the casino voted against it because of the increased traffic, the huge lighted, electronic billboards, and the belief that the crime rate would go up. There has been a small, but insignificant personal property tax decrease, an increase of jobs (predominantly minimum wage), small grants for county students were provided ($100.00 per student), but there has also been an increase in traffic to the area and huge lighted billboards now light up the surrounding communities at night.

The increase in traffic has clogged roads and highways that were not designed for such traffic. These are some of the problems that are seen. What is not seen so much is the increase in domestic violence, the number of bankruptcies, an increase in divorce and separation, a rising number of crimes, rising mortgage failures, alcohol-related auto accidents (with increasing numbers of DUI’s), and an overburdening of the local social services with an already overworked number of staff that is insufficient to handle so many case loads. The number of gambling addictions has also risen and an addiction to gambling is one of the hardest addictions there is to overcome. There is also a risk of organized crime infiltrating the area, if it hasn’t already done so.

An observable trend is that the highest casino traffic is the very day or the day following the issuance of welfare checks. Gaming corporations know this. They increase the number of staff during these times. What is worse is that Kansas is bleeding green. That is, Kansas is shipping out money to the gaming corporation that is the owner of this casino. Consider the fact that last year the casino contributed two million dollars to the local economy and school districts but almost 180 million dollars from the state in that same time period. When you look at the long term effects of this drain of dollars, Kansas will be losing almost a billion dollars in five years while only benefiting from 10 million dollars in the local county. It is like the history books that used to call it “Bleeding Kansas” is being re-written to being called “Bleeding Green.”

Paul warns Timothy of acquiring riches in 1 Timothy 6:6-10, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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.”

In verse six, Paul is saying that you won’t ever see a funeral hearse pulling a U-Haul behind it? No, we can not take anything with us but we can send ahead and store up treasures in heaven where they will be awaiting us.

Then Paul says that if we have enough to meet our needs (food and clothing) then we should be content with these because the “rich fall into temptation” (to have more). The richer you get the more you want to get richer. It is like a disease and the person is never satisfied with enough. This person falls into a “snare” and these “harmful desires…plunge people into ruin and destruction.” Love is not the root of all evil but the pursuit of money is the root of “all kinds of evil” as the proper translations say. Being rich is not a sin but pursuing riches “lead [to] all kinds of evil” (sins). The pursuit of riches causes many to wander away from faith in God for they trust in their riches instead and not in God. Those who trust in themselves are only to be “pierced…with many pangs” in this paper chase. Why? The fact is that money never brings true happiness. The only lasting joy is to be found in Jesus Christ. It is not fleeting like money and you can take Him with you when you die.

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Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believers daily walk with God and the Bible.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).