Money Matters: Culture or Scripture?
Adapted from Freed-Up Financial Living
In school they tell us we’re being equipped to earn it. Then for the rest of our lives — for as many as fifty or sixty hours a week — we’re busy making it. We invest countless hours in thought and discussion deciding how to deal with it. We walk around shopping malls for hours on end determining how we’re going to spend it. We’re caught up more often than we’d like to admit worrying we won’t have enough of it. We dream and scheme to figure out ways to acquire more of it.
Arguments over it are a leading cause for marital disintegration. Despair over losing it has even led to suicide. Passion for it causes much of society’s crime. The absence of it causes many of society’s nightmares. Some view it as the root of all evil, while others think of it as the means for great good.
One thing is clear: we cannot afford to ignore the reality of the importance of money.
Our culture isn’t ignoring it. We’re bombarded hundreds if not thousands of times daily with messages that foster discontentment and encourage us to adopt the values of our culture with regard to money. We’ve made it painless to spend money by using credit cards and smartphone apps rather than cash. We’ve made it quick and easy to spend with one-click shopping. Our culture pulls us into spending to accomplish values that it encourages us not to think too deeply about.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of information on this crucial matter in the Bible. More than two thousand Scripture passages touch on the theme of money. Jesus spoke about it frequently. About two-thirds of Jesus’ parables make reference to our use of financial resources. He once warned that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
He talked often about these matters because he understood what was at stake. He knew that, left to our own devices, this area would quickly become a source of pain and frustration — and sometimes bondage. Worse, he saw how easily our hearts would be led astray from pure devotion to God into areas of worry and even obsession over possessions. He wanted to protect us from these pitfalls and to show us the liberty that comes from following God fully in every area of life, including this one.
Given all that rides on our understanding and use of money, how is your congregation doing in this critical area? Is there a general understanding of how God would have us think about and use the resources he has put in our care? Or is stewardship just another word for what goes in the offering plate? If your congregation could use some help in this area, check out Freed-Up Financial Living, Good $ense’s flagship stewardship resource. We’d love to help you spread vision and commitment to stewardship in your church!