Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Problem With Money

The Bible does not say, as some have erroneously supposed, that money is the root of all evil. Rather, it says, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). In other words, money and material possessions are not the problem, but it is our attitude toward them that determines whether they are a blessing or a curse. Are we putting our trust in our wealth and possessions? Then we are in trouble, because we are looking to material things to solve spiritual issues.

God is not against wealth and riches. In fact (brace yourself here, because I’m going to show you something that offends the religious spirit), God promises wealth and riches to those who are upright:
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be might on earth. The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house. (Psalm 112:1-3)
Now, the falsely pious will object, “But He is talking about spiritual wealth and riches” — as if the world is divided between spiritual and material, so that one has nothing to do with the other (that’s the error of Gnosticism). But if you will examine the context, you will discover that He is talking about wealth and riches in the natural. In the ancient Hebrew mind, the spiritual has everything to do with the natural, for God, who is spirit, is the creator of the heavens and the earth. So "wealth and riches" are a spiritual issue, but they are material, as well.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul said something amazing about the grace and abundance of God:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

This not only has application in the area of money and finances, but in the context of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, we discover that this is specifically about money and finances. Paul was raising funds for the believers at Jerusalem, and using this as an opportunity to teach the Corinthian church about giving.

Some people are content to have just enough money to get by. But that is just false piety rearing its head again. It is, in fact, a selfish and unbiblical attitude. God does not want us to have only just enough, He wants us to have more than enough! If we have only just enough to meet our own needs, then we have nothing left to give to good works. But the grace of God abounds to us so that we not only have enough to fully meet our needs, but we have plenty more besides to give to every good work.

Abundance means “without bounds” or “beyond the boundaries.” It is overflow. It is more than enough. God desires to give wealth and riches to the upright so that we may have abundance for every good work — not just a few good works, but for many good works. Can you imagine having abundance of finances so that you can give to the variety of godly works, missions and ministries that come before you? That is what God envisions for you and me.

The problem about money does not arise because we have more than we need. The problem arises when we think that money is about us rather than about God’s desire to bless us and bless others through us.

Money is a great medium of exchange, so that we can actually give ourselves to the work of God all around the world. Money is a gift from God so that we can reveal His heart, His love, His goodness.

If money is a problem for you, check your heart. For it is the attitude of our heart toward money that causes us trouble. We err when we look to money to rescue us. We err when we think that money is just for our benefit. We err when our desire is only to have just enough. Don’t sit on the blessing God desires to give to someone else through you. Look to God to not only meet all your financial needs in every way, but to give you great abundance, so that you may have plenty to give to every good work.