by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

The Money Trap (1 of 4)
Series: Financial Traps
Jeff Strite
1 Timothy 6:6-6:19

OPEN: Many years ago a Chicago radio station, WKOX, offered $10,000 to the individual who could devise the most outlandish way to get the money. More than 6,000 people responded to the challenge.
The eventual winner was Jay Gwaltney of Zionsville, Indiana, who consumed an 11-foot birch sapling - leaves, roots, bark and all. For the event he wore a tuxedo and dined at a table eloquently set with fine china, sterling silverware, candles and a rose vase.
Armed with pruning sheers, the Indiana State University sophomore began chomping - starting from the top of the tree - and working his way down, branch by branch, to the roots. The only extra flavoring he used was some French dressing for a massive birch-leaf salad.
Consuming the tree took 18 hours over a period of three days. When it was all over, Gwaltney complained of an upset stomach.

APPLY: Paul writes: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 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 many griefs. (I Timothy 6:9-10)

Now eating a tree sapling might seem to be foolish, but there are people who would apparently do even more than that to get money!

ILLUS: In their book, The Day America Told the Truth, authors James Patterson and Peter Kim revealed some shocking statistics on how far people in this country would be willing to go for money. When asked what they'd do for $10 million dollars:
(25%) Would abandon their entire family
(23%) Would become prostitutes for a week or more
(16%) Would give up their American citizenship
(16%) Would leave their spouses
(10%) Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
(7%) Would kill a stranger
(3%) Would put their children up for adoption

ILLUS: As one cynic put it: " ...

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