10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
This scripture is often misquoted to be "Money is the root of all evil". As you can see, the correct quote is that LOVE of money is the root of all evil.
I witnessed behavior from my son, yesterday, that gave me a crystal clear awareness that my son equates money with happiness. Yesterday, we took B and a friend of his to see the movie "UP". I needed some light-hearted humor after the drama that took place this weekend (I'll talk about that in a moment). Apparently, his friend "A" owes him some money. "A" suggested that the two of them go to the movies (again) that night with "A's" girlfriend and a girl that my son likes.
I could see it coming... sure enough, B hinted around that he didn't have gas money. I dug my heels in and said that I had helped him enough, and I wasn't willing to give him money-- all the while, I'm "A" is standing right there. I am not fond of being put on the spot...
The next thing I know, B is sayng he'll sell something. I rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth.
B started in with his classic manipulation. Exasperated, I asked him what could he sell?
"My watch". That was a graduation gift from his dad. It's worth, maybe, $100.00 brand new but knowing him-- he'd sell it for $20.00.
B said he HAS to have money. He said he hates being broke.
At that moment, I looked at him and said with a soft voice (as opposed to my angry voice)--
"it's so disappointing to me, B, that you seem to focus on what you don't have-- instead of what you do have."
B grew silent.
Living with a drug addict seems to attract daily drama. Does anyone disagree with that? It never fails that my son has some sort of crisis-- he lost his wallet, he can't find his car keys... he lost a $20.00 bill. Often times, his cellphone rings and I can hear him saying "Oh, Dude! Are you kidding me?" Inevitably, he'll tell me some horror story that's happened to a friend.
Last night, his sponsor and his girlfriend had their zillionth fight. I've met them both. B's sponsor seems like a nice guy. He's a little spacey, but I attributed that to years of drug abuse. I'm guessing that he's 30-ish. I've met the girlfriend. I've heard my son, and the sponsor ("D") discussing the stormy relationship those two have. Actually, I'd call it more dysfunctional.
My son was pacing around, wanting to go rescue "D". Apparently, the result of the two Lovebird's fight resulting in her taking his wallet and dumping him in the middle of nowhere, with no money.
B wanted to rescue him. Me, being the compassionate (and sometimes enabling) person that I am, immediately thought I should go and get him and help him out.
Then it started-- my son frantically making calls to figure out how to borrow money to get gas to go pick up "D". B was worried that this latest fight would lead his sponsor into using. I"D" could not get a hold of his own sponsor, so he was starting to become despondent. It's a valid concern.
I could feel the knots in my shoulders tightening and my pulse rate going up.
Why do I allow myself to get sucked into this drama?
Finally, I told my son that I'm sorry that those two are having another fight. I set up my boundaries forcefield and told B that I wanted to end the discussion. Period. Over and out.
He actually left me alone.
My point is that it seems my son lives his daily life in crisis mode. Is this common with addicts?
Yesterday, I wrote a diatribe on how and why I became a Christian. If you want to read it, just scroll down to May 31st.
One of the biggest lessons in life that I learned, through my spiritual rebirth and journey is this-- Money does not make anyone happy.
I lived, for ten years, as a single mom-- on the edge of poverty. I raised my son on my one meager salary as a self-employed person. I didn't have a corporate job, but I bought medical insurance anyway.
I did not get paid vacations or sick leave, so I tried to stay healthy and not miss any opportunities to earn money.
I also learned incredible survival skills. I shopped at Goodwill. I bought marked down meat.
Most importantly-- I learned how to do things, with my son, that were free. Parks, hikes and farmer's markets. I'd buy my son a treat and forgo mine.
It has been thirteen years, since I began to seek to know God. I can honestly say that I am truly happy. I am filled with joy.
Even though my son is a drug addict, who is struggling with not quite five months of sobriety (and that is questionable), I still have a thankful heart for what I have.
I cannot afford to buy the things that I would like to have-- a new car, a new refrigerator, a new camera and a trip to my mother's homeland of Germany (to return her ashes).
Still, I am happy. I am content. I am not envious of those who have much more than I do.
I know that many folks who have a LOT more money than I do have deep troubles.
I see that with my son's friends. One girl, he ran with, comes from a very wealthy family. She just got out of rehab. Her mother is a drunk.
My point, today, is that my son clearly hasn't found joy.
He needs a prescription pill to counter-act his depression.
He needs cigarettes to deal with his daily stress.
He feels angry and frustrated when he doesn't have money in his wallet-- hence he borrows and starts the crazy cycle of debt.
He used/uses drug to deal with the trials and tribulations of life.
My son cannot see his own blessings.
He is alive.
He is sober.
He has medical insurance, and went to a great treatment center.
He has a roof over his head, plenty of food.
He is loved by his parents.
He has a job.
He has cable TV, a cellphone and a car.
Still, he believes that money will make him happy.
He has an empty void in his life. To me, this is where I give glory to God and to my savior, Jesus.
The Lord has filled my empty void.
****I have run out of time, from my lunch break. I don't have time to proof-read. Forgive any grammatical errors or typos. I'll fix them later. (Yes, I am a perfectionist. It's a curse.)
I leave you with a scripture that is posted on my refrigerator. It speaks volumes for what I've learned in the last 13 years-- and I continue to struggle against envy and lack of gratitude:
4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your
gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about
anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present
your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or
heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be
Thanks for Their Gifts 10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that
at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned,
but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in
need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what
it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the
secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives