In our world there is immense stress placed upon us to get rich.In our culture it is taught to us that if we want to have a happy life, you need to have a very well-paying job, (a) incredibly expensive house(s), a car that cost more than most people make in a year, and other things that show off how well off you are. This is a dangerous thing for Christians to ignore because we are warned of the great dangers money engender. “And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “ Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:23-24). God cares about how we think of, and use, our money. Lets discuss some basic thoughts from the scriptures about it.
IT IS A TOOL
Many of the issues that we run into when dealing with money is the fact that we do not recognize that it is JUST a tool to be used. Paul recognized that by providing a financial care-package for the saints in Jerusalem from the Christians through his travels, he could use the money as a bridge to connect Jew and Gentile Christians (2 Corinthians 9). Jesus recognized that money was a tool for the poor widow to display her heart to God (Mark 12:41-44). Today, nothing has changed. We need look at wealth only as a way to care for ourselves and others and as a way to facilitate the gospel to be spread. We fund preachers and missionaries to be free from secular work to ensure the gospel is being spread (1 Corinthians 9:3-6). We use money to help people who are less fortunate to share the love of God with them (Matthew 25:31-46). And we use money in a variety of other ways, but it is just a tool that helps us do the will of God…nothing more.
YOU ARE A STEWARD
A huge lesson to learn about money is true ownership. In the big picture, we never truly possess money, we just act as stewards of what God has blessed us with. This can be seen in a literal way by examination of the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-26). To summarize this parable, a master gives his servants various sums of money to be used and to returned upon the master’s return with more than they were originally given. They were to use the money for good and bring back a profit. Two did this and were blessed. The third did not do this, but saved up the money to just be returned without profit. This third man was cursed and it is said that he received punishment in the same kind of language of torment or hell. This should shock us. This means that our stewardship of the things that God blesses us with is absolutely a salvation issue and deserves our careful consideration. Instead of buying into the mindset that our goal is to accumulate wealth to make ourselves happy, we need to own the mindset that we are using money that God gives us to bring Him glory.
IT CAN BE USED FOR GOOD OR AS A GOD
We have already touched on the great good that can be done with wealth, but there is an inherent danger if we do not think about money with the correct heart. It can become our idol. “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” (1 Timothy 6:10). The false-teachers discussed in this context are condemned for their propagation of error, but the root of their deception is discovered here: they love money more than they love God. If they had loved God more, they would have never compromised His Truth (John 17:17). If we are not careful about how we think of money, we can become servant to it rather than use it to serve God. 1 John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”