Debt Free Legacy

Greed and the Taiwanese Monkey Trap

by Debt Free Legacy

We understand that the Taiwanese utilize a very simple device to trap monkeys; one that is painless and works great. A box with a small opening, just large enough for the monkey’s open hand, contains a juicy banana. The monkey reaches in, grasps the fruit, but can’t get the closed fist and banana out of the hole. Rather than let go of the enticing meal, the greedy monkey refuses to let go and is easily captured. Since most of us are not in the monkey trapping business, you might wonder what this has to do with Godly financial principles. The common thread of truth is GREED… As we see in 1Timothy 6:10 (NIV): “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with griefs.”
Money is not good, nor is it bad! It is merely a form of exchange that can be used for evil purposes, for wasteful pursuit, or for the well being of our families and the growth of The Kingdom of God. In the “Financial Freedom in 7 Weeks Plus” course and workbook, it is made clear that how each of us spends money, or use other resources (time and talents), is important; therefore “all financial decisions are spiritual decisions.”

We live in a modern world where much of the advertising is aimed at making us crave things we don’t have and often don’t need. The appeals may seem harmless but many have the effect of stimulating envy and greed. This becomes a slippery slope that, just like the trapped monkey, can lead to making idols of things and of money itself. Falling for the “greed trap” can lead to making hasty and unwise decisions that are out of line with God’s best plans for us. So what’s the solution? Let God, not money, be at the center of our hearts. If we start to be enticed by “the money banana”, let go and ask God how He wants us to steward the resources he has provided. Let’s close this article with Matthew 6:24 (NIV): “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”