What God Says About Money
Though both my parents grew up in inner-city Chicago, they were from entirely different worlds.
My grandfather on my dad’s side grew up dirt poor in southern Mississippi. His father died when he was just a child, so he had to drop out of school at ten years old and work to support his mother and family. I remember my dad telling me that my papa didn’t have his first pair of shoes until he was twelve. When my grandpa grew older, he married and moved to Chicago to work in a factory.
On the other end of the spectrum, my mother was born in Bethlehem, Israel. Her father, who was highly educated and knew fifteen languages, worked for the United Nations. When the country plunged into war and chaos, he moved his family to the United States, where he was pressed to work for the United Nations in Washington DC but chose instead to live a quiet and modest life in Chicago.
One side of my family came from prestige and the other from poverty — one with education, one who was barely literate. One worked hard to earn enough money, and the other chose to be content with less. But they shared the same desire: to provide a safe and stable world for their families.
That’s the thing about money — we all need it. We need money to buy food, and we need money to rent or buy a place to live. We need money to stay healthy medically. Money will always be part of our lives, so why does money talk in the church seem to cause a bunch of drama?
You might be surprised to hear the Bible actually says A LOT about money. We learn in Scripture that it’s not bad to have money. In fact, it’s not even bad to want money. The problem is that we humans are not the best at desiring modest amounts. We want more, bigger, better storehouses, homes, and retirements, and we coin it as wisdom, which is partly true but could easily become justification for greed. Luckily, we serve a God who is not surprised or caught off guard by this. That’s why He’s given us plenty of direction on how to steer this hot topic.
As we already established, money isn’t bad. We need it. But things can go south quickly because…
That’s why we must be wise and content stewards of God’s resources. I love how blogger Dave Jenkins says it,
“The Lord is pleased when His servants exercise wise and faithful stewardship. The prodigal son wasted his resources (Luke 15:11–13), but wise Christians use informed decision-making in spending money. Budgeting well helps you to give abundantly to the Lord’s work. The goal is to be a wise steward of both our time and lives to the glory of God.”
My grandparents wanted nothing more than to be good stewards who provide their children with a safe and stable environment. They wanted their children to be fed, clothed, sheltered from the weather, and receive a good education. That is honorable and biblical! The Lord created mankind to enjoy Him and be content.
Jesus hit a home run in Matthew 6:19–21 when He said,
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
When we give generously to people in need, or to fund the mission of God through His Church, we, in turn, store up for ourselves treasures in the coming age. This is not to “purchase” or earn salvation. It is purely to experience that true “riches” have nothing to do with earthly possessions, which rust and moth will one day destroy. True “riches” are found by the generous sharing of what we have with others in this world. When the wealthy give their wealth away, they don’t suffer loss but rather lay up treasure for themselves in heaven and still possibly on this earth.
Money also plays a big part in the wisdom of God. 1 Timothy 6:17 says,
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
Our expectation is clear: don’t grow prideful because of all you have, but be generous with those who have not. It belongs to God anyways; we are merely stewards of it.
The bottom line is that our credit card statements provide a window to where our treasure is and where we are spiritually. So, ask yourself, are you seeking momentary pleasure, or furthering the Great Commission? Have you put your trust in your resources — or in the God who provides them?