“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” – 1 Timothy 6.6-10.
Most people refrain from talking about money. Most people don’t want to think about how they spend their money. We just acquire it and it seems to spend itself. We don’t tend to think much about money itself but rather what money can get for us. Or where money can take us. Money is not bad, it is a tool; a tool that can be used or misused. The Bible says more about the impact of money, greed, and our resources on people than He did about heaven and hell.
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13.5) Matthew 6:19-20 adds, “ Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”
There is a pretty well known story in Luke 12 about a rich fool. The rich fool had it made. His life was one great success story. The things he had dreamed about for a lifetime were about to happen. After working hard all his life, he had reached the point where he could take life easy. One more bumper crop, one more expansion of his business, and he was ready to retire and enjoy the rewards of a lifelong effort to make the grade.
And who could blame him? When you’ve worked hard all your life and you have managed to build up your investment portfolio, when you have faithfully added to your 401K and have done well in your career or business, you feel you have earned the right to say, “It is time to take it easy.” You feel you have laid up plenty of good things for many years. What could be wrong with that? In the parable of the rich fool, the Lord answers that question. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some of the fruits of our labors. But the rich fool had missed the point of his life: he had not been rich toward God.
As we near the end of another year, we need to ask not only whether our investments did well in 2020. The critical question to ask is “Have we been rich toward God?” Have we have been generous toward those who need to see God’s love through our support and care.
We want our money to reveal our love for God, His kingdom, His priorities and His people.
- How are your actions backing up your talking when it comes to practicing good stewardship of the money entrusted to us?
- What changes do you need to make to be better stewards of your money?