Not sure about you but I tend to have a love hate relationship with all things associated with money!
As a Christian I struggle with the materialism and falling into the trap of greed when it comes to accumulating wealth, but then on the other hand I tend to think of the future and the security money gives you as you think of the future.
So you can see money can give you all sorts of headaches!
In today’s world where we hear all sorts of amazing things preached from pulpits, it can be a head-spinning sort of a maze of differing thoughts and attitudes concerning the love and accumulation of money.
On one hand we have the prosperity gospel loud-hailing the message that money and lot’s of it is some sort of barometer that defines our spirituality. They argue that God wants us to not only be spiritually rich but materially rich also. These people also argue that it is our lack of faith and even sin that stands in the way of amazing riches.
Then we have those who have taken a vow of poverty, giving away every cent they earn to give to the poor. ridding themselves of as much money as they can. Money to them is a contamination that comes between God and themselves which stifles any growth spiritually and the only way to grow in Jesus is to rid themselves of any wealth.
These are the extremes of where I see the world anyway but where does the truth lie? Somewhere in the middle maybe?
Both of these extremities may have some semblance of truth in them somewhere and that the dilemma that not only myself but a lot of Christians in the world face today.
I am sure my great God could shower His people with huge blessings of money and other material blessings if that was His will but often it is through struggles that we come to depend on Him to walk the miles with us, holding us close and showing us what indeed is his path for us in this crazy but beautiful world in which we all share.
What should be our attitude towards money? Should we despise it? Should we be thankful for it? Or should we have some sort of middle of the road experience in dealing with our finances?
So what is money anyway? In the old days bartering was the way to go and still is today in some cultures, so money is like bartering without the barter if you catch my drift. Money is our form of power in our world – we can do a whole host of things with money, from building a fence to an overseas trip to building a mansion – you name it money is tucked away in there somewhere.
One of the main problems in chatting about money is there is no definite answers as to how much is ‘allowable’ to be Christian. So really, if we are looking for a bottom line to tell us exactly how much we need to safely go through life in regards to money, we won’t find it!
So in other words what can ‘get away with’ and still be righteous in the eyes of God?
The Pharisees loved to set down rules and obligations as to what people did and how they did it – what they spent and how much they themselves got in return. I reckon it doesn’t work like that at all.
Love this verse in Matthew 5:20- Jesus Speaking –
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”
We can make ourselves slaves to money where we begin and act and think of nothing else – we can get up every morning turn on the computer just to check how the stock market is going or how much we have saved on interest – or even what ‘specials’ are on the supermarket. We can even get to the stage where we are mindful of every dollar we spend. It’s extraordinary really!
Some see money as the ONLY way to go – they argue that money and the accumulation of wealth will bring them happiness and well being – “If only I had some money – life would be so much happier – I would be able to do this or that etc etc”
I am reminded of ABBA’s song MONEY MONEY MONEY – I must admit I found it a tad funny but unfortunately that is exactly how people see money as some sort of goal to aim for and “then I will be satisfied” sort of like a happy ending to life.
Here is the youtube link – it may bring you a laugh
It was ironic as I downloaded the youtube clip there was an add for Sports Bet – Another classic way some will look for loads of money to supposedly ‘buy’ them some sort of happiness – from what I can see the only way to be fully happy is in Christ and He alone.
Unfortunately so many people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places – money and heaps of it will never buy happiness.
So money IS NOT GOD – Following Jesus requires a heart change – it’s about handing your life over to Him and allowing God’s spirit to change you dramatically not only on your inside wanting to serve God and please him, but also seeing clearly just where you are as an individual in regards to your wealth.
So under no circumstance is there going to be some sort of sign-post in the Bible saying ‘so far and no further’ in respect to wealth, however we may need to change our attitudes in respect of how we deal with our wealth.
What I’m trying to say is that wealth and the accumulation of same is and can be entirely different to an individual depending on where that individual is with God and how God is working in that person’s life.
The main thing I have gleaned from this is we must and never should put God over our wealth in fact we must never put God over anything! Wealth is Ok as long as we realise that God is the be all and end all of our life – our wealth should be like everything else that God has blessed us with a means to an end.
Greed like all sins in our lives that Jesus came to clean up, has no place once we have given it entirely to God.
Please don’t let money and the love thereof dictate how you live your life and let’s all of us decide right now to look at money as a blessing from God not as a steering wheel taking us from the main and real reason we have life and that is to worship, honour and love our Lord with all of our hearts and minds.
God bless you this week as you consider, like I have, where your priorities lie. Please take time this week to really consider others and yourself and just take your thoughts to God – Let Him lead you as He wills and what he would have you do.
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