It’s a new season and with a new season I have a new job. I will be self-employed and if I play the cards right, will be able to create an income. With that said I have felt many warnings of the Lord. Honestly I haven’t had the direction of whether these warnings are to stop or to go. So in this I’ve been more sensitive to the Scripture that talk about money.
Money is a loaded gun. A gun has potential to give through hunting for food or for taking life for shooting another human.
It’s dangerous. It’s the same with money.
It can ruin us more easily than it can make us. And so with that we need the wisdom of God.
Dangers Regarding Money
- Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim 6:10). Money is not bad or good, it’s our relationship to it. See here it says “the love” of money and not money itself. But even in that our relationship with money can be very deceitful. Mostly in that we deceive ourselves.
- It is dangerous to want to get rich. “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” (1 Tim 6:9). Being wealthy isn’t wrong as there were many in Scripture who were (Abraham, David and others), but how we seek after that wealth and why we seek that wealth matters. Almost 100% of the time we will always justify a desire to get rich (“I can do more for God”). It’s the innate deceitfulness of wealth. “Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (Mt 6:10).
- Our natural tendency is to store up money and hoard which is contrary to God’s wisdom. Jesus clearly says “Do not store up treasures on earth…” (Mt 6:19). But the scariest Scripture is in Luke 12:13-21 where a farmer has an overly-abundant year and builds bigger barns to store his wealth. It makes it so he can retire early. Then read this, “But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This then is how it will be with anyone who stores up for himself but is not rich towards God.”” It’s not that it’s wrong to store up reserves as it is the wise thing to do (Prov 30:25) but there is a limit to how much we should store up.
- Money is a master. It’s one of the masters we can serve. But if we serve it, we cannot also serve God (Mt 6:24).
How to Interact with Money in a Healthy Way
1) Excess money, beyond something that is reasonable to store up, is to be used for the benefit of others.
- “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need” (2 Cor 8:14).
- “Command those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Tim 6:17-19)
- Use your money to be “rich toward God” (Lk 12:21)
2) Our faith remains in God, not money. Money is power and when you have it, you have more “power” to make decisions and take action. It’s tempting at this point to make decisions and use our money more based on what we want to do (good or bad) than to continually be led of the Lord. Not only that but it’s tempting to see money as our foundation, our deliverer, our safety net, and our hope for a better life. But the Scripture says this: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17). The real test is if we lost it all, how much would our lives change? Would we still have the same joy, peace, rest and security that we did before we were wealthy?
3) Contentment with our daily needs being met is great gain.
- “For godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires…” (1 Tim 6:6-9)
- “Give us today our daily bread” (Mt 6:11)
- “Keep falsehood and lies far form me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God” (Prov 30:8)
When we are pursuing wealth for any reason, we need to be wise, to tread carefully and to meet any increase with a big degree of sobriety. Deception is rooted in a human’s love for money (or the security and comfort attached to it) just as much as the alcoholic who says “just one drink.” Our biggest blessing is to have our daily needs met. And to be content with that. As Paul has said,
“I 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. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Php 4:12-13).