I Saw Only the Gold

doar-aurulI came across an interesting subject about which to write to you. I pray that God can use these thoughts to speak to many.
An old Asian tale recounts the story of a man that all his life coveted gold. One day he went to a jewelry market. Seeing so much shining gold, he reached out his hand and grabbed as much gold as he could. After he was caught, the officials asked him, “How could you attempt to steal that gold, in broad daylight, with so many people around you?” The man, enslaved by the desire to become rich, answered, “When I got so close to the gold, I saw only the gold. I didn’t see all the people around me.”
I had to ponder, “How great was my desire for gold that I saw nothing else and no one else!” Gold is good if it is earned through honest work, but even so, gold does not give life. There is only One that can give life, and He gives it abundantly.
In the lines to follow you will read about Him! May His Name be praised!
Many of those who are imprisoned could say as the Chinese man said, “I saw only the gold!” (or only the euros, the dollars, or the millions of lei, etc.).
People deceive us daily, making us think that happiness, joy, and peace can only be obtained by a sterling material status. I was deceived in this way, and so were my other roommates that were once policemen, businessmen, politicians, or other officials. They were all deceived just as I was, thinking that only “gold” could bring them fulfilment.
A few days ago a new roommate arrived. He is an absolutely normal man, with a beautiful family and a business which was going well (at least when he was a free man). He had more than enough, and yet, in order to gain more, got involved in shady business dealings, eventually trying to bribe somebody, but was caught, tried, and convicted. Now he reflects for hours and hours, wondering why he gave up his family, his business, his liberty, the comforts of a free man, all these for an iron bed in a cell so crowded that prisoners step on one other.
What could make a man give up all the valuables listed above? A normal man would say, “There is nothing in this world that would make me give up my wife and children.” And yet, everyday there are people out there that risk a lengthy prison sentence without thinking too much of what they would leave behind if they were be caught. Daily there are businessmen, officials, even doctors that nervously clench their teeth and cross their fingers, hoping that they will again get by.
Gold is the thing that made many of them surrender everything they treasured and loved for an iron bed, here, in prison. Also, gold is what made people think, “They have no way of catching me!” or “I have too many significant connections to be caught.”
I must tell you that my new roommate said the same thing. I asked him why he risked so much when he had such a beautiful family and such a favorable material status. He gave me a long answer, but in summary his answer would be, “I saw only the money.”
I can tell you from experience that when Satan tries to deceive you by making you look only at the gold, he will never, in keeping with his corrupt nature, show you the other side of the coin. When your eyes are caught by the shiny “gold”, you do not see anything else that is around you. You do not see your children playing or your wife waiting for you in the evening. You do not see your parents and siblings that love you so greatly. You do not see many things, because the glitter of what Satan says you must have covers your eyes.
If Satan would show people the other side of the coin when he lays “the gold” before their eyes, I believe that the prisons, at least in Romania, would not have a problem with being overcrowded. But he lies because that is his specialty. The Lord Jesus said that Satan is the “father of all lies”; therefore, no matter how smart we think we are, we can easily be deceived if we do not walk closely with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
How do I know this? I know it because for years, not having a personal relationship with God, I was deceived by the enemy. My eyes were shining like fire-flies whenever I heard of a new and easier way to make money. I had no rules to follow since I knew nothing of the teachings of the Bible, so the way to acquire more was unobstructed. Encouraged by the society in which we live, there was nothing that could encourage me to take my eyes off the “gold.”
In the end, “the gold rush” took me to prison for a few years. I consider myself to be in a happy situation because, in His great mercy, God opened my eyes to a totally different reality than before. It is a reality in which “gold” does not occupy the first place, not even the second, nor the third. Actually, I believe that God’s Kingdom is not about gold, nor about gaining riches, but rather about love, family, respect, loving our neighbor, forgiving those who wrong us, about peace, about reconciliation, and about many other amazing things, things that I did not see before, because I was seeing only the gold.
Those that do not know God do not have an excuse for what they do, because they ought immediately to leave everything and seek the Creator and Giver of life, so that through a relationship with him, they could receive that “set of rules” to use as a guide for their life – the Word of God.
I would like to finish this post with a question, “If those that do not know God have no excuse, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 2:18-21, what will happen to those in the evangelical churches who know the truth, and yet they see only “the gold”?” This is a question upon which to ponder. It is not my desire to offend anybody, but rather – if you wish – to warn.
On one hand, the world, by its works, urges us to look only “at the gold”; on the other hand, God urges us to look to Somebody else – to the One who can give life.
I found a verse in the Scripture that reinforces what I said: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
I write, because I want everyone to know that in Jesus Christ there is no “gold rush,” “money rush,” “position rush,” but only “righteousness rush,” “peace rush,” and “joy rush” in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
Choose to fix your eyes only on the things that are truly worthy.
May God bless you with health, peace, and lots of joy!

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