Let’s Talk About God and Money
Money is a big part of our lives, whether we like it or not. We spend so much time worrying about money, wanting money, or trying to make money. Today lets talk about what God says about money in the bible and the prosperity of His people. It can be tempting, sometimes, to measure our worth in money. Every day, at least once, we ask ourselves: ‘How much do we earn? How much have we saved? How much have we spent?’ When money is in short supply,we find that it dominates our thoughts all day long.
But what does God think about money? Perhaps we need to think about the spiritual side of our finances.
First off, does God dislike money? No. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that money, in and of itself, is bad. Rather, it is the LOVE (OVER LUSTING) OF MONEY that is a sin, in fact the bible records it as the ROOT of ALL EVIL. God tolerates money, provided we do not love money more than we love God. As book of Matthew 6:24 teaches:
‘No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.’Matthew 6:24
In the Bible, people who try to ‘serve both God and money’ are often punished. For example, recall the tale of King Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar’s riches became so immense that he forgot the debt he owed to God, and for that God sent him to live in the wilderness for seven years. This was not, bear in mind, simply a punishment for having wealth. Nebuchadnezzar’s sin was hoarding his wealth, which lead to believing himself to have risen above God.
On the other side of the coin, the Bible shows repeatedly that God cares deeply for those who don’t have money. Consider this excerpt from the book of Luke 6:20-21:
“‘Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.’”Luke 6:20-21
People who are poor and still do their best to serve God are highly praised in scripture, as we see in this story from Mark 12:41-44:
‘Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money in the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.Mark 12:41-44
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.’
Some of the most renowned figures in history are those who had money and made the decision to surrender it to honour God. Ascetic saints in the Catholic Faith like Anthony, Mary, and Jerome were holy men and women to chose to bring themselves closer to God by abandoning all their worldly goods and live in the desert for years.
Obviously, God doesn’t expect quite that much from us. It’s enough that we make sure that the money we earn is earned honestly, and that we are prudent with our savings:
‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow’ (Proverbs 13:11).Proverbs 13:11
That’s pretty solid advice whoever you are. We should always handle our finances carefully. Whenever it’s possible, we should try to ensure that we put away a little bit stashed away for a rainy day, while bearing in mind the words of Augustine of Hippo:
‘Thou art passing on thy journey, and this life is but a wayside inn. Use money as the traveller at an inn uses the table, cup, and couch, with the purpose not of remaining, but of leaving them behind’.Augustine of Hippo