By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
When a Florida real estate investor Kevin Shelton fired $10,000 in cash into a crowd at a shopping center to “create a world of hope and joy,” he couldn’t foresee the mess it would cause.
People trampled, pushed and hit each other to get their hands on one or two of the crisp $2 bills. When the melee cleared, six from the crowd were rushed to the hospital, and six more were treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.
Shelton, who calls himself the “Money Man,” and the ravenous Odessa, Fla., crowd further displayed America’s obsession with money, or greed. Shelton did what he thought would spread happiness to the assembled crowd, and the crowd reacted with no regard for human life or dignity.
Several years ago, a Dallas radio station buried $50,000 in a secret location in the city, causing money-hungry listeners to dig up private yards and parks to find the loot.
Even closer to home, former Abilene radio station KORQ in June 1988 announced that it would give away small amounts of cash to anyone who came by the station at Butternut Street and Treadaway Boulevard. When the disc jockey opened the door, a large crowd of people awaited, pushing violently toward him. Fearing being trampled, the DJ just threw the stack of cash into the air, causing a similar scene as in St. Petersburg.
Although many Americans, and even ACU students, read about such travesties and point an accusatory finger at those involved, I have to wonder how many of them would have been scrambling or digging for the chance at some fast cash.
On a less noticeable scale, we go to school for four years to land the perfect job that will let us live comfortably for the rest of our lives. We buy the latest clothes, cars and computers in the spirit of “staying culturally relevant.”
Yes, greed sneaks in as easy as that.
The “American Dream” would convince us to view this pursuit as natural and, dare I say it, the equivalent of being American.
God’s call, however, differs from the world’s.
He tells us through Solomon in Proverbs 28:25 that greedy men stir up dissention, but those who trust God prosper. The Lord through Paul calls the love of money “the root of all evil” in 1 Timothy 6:10.
Don’t even let greed get a foothold in your heart. Greed is attacked throughout the Bible because God knows how easily humans fall away and serve money instead of him.
And don’t believe Satan’s filthy, but often convincing, lies – that money can “create a world of hope and joy.” The eternal consequence of a life of greed puts to shame a black eye or a trip to the ER.