A Balanced View on Money, Wealth & Riches
"The Bible doesn't say that money is not the root of all evil. It says that the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil."
This is a comment you may have heard, or said once or twice yourself.
One of the things that I value about the Bible is that it teaches us a better way to approach life. When you read through the book of Proverbs, it teaches the importance of work, being diligent, making wise investments, and not giving into slothfulness. The Bible does not praise poverty nor encourage greed, rather it checks our heart motives and shows us how to best use it in ways that help others and glorify God.
God's view of true riches takes more than a 5 step checklist to unpack because it focuses on evaluation of motives.
Learning what the Word says is like reading an instruction manual on how we can guard our hearts from slipping into greed, selfish ambition and idolizing the "green", which is equally as important to study when it comes to our financial pursuits and in focusing on principles for prospering.
In this blog, my goal is to encourage you to renew your mind, to help you guard your heart and to draw closer to God as you increase in wealth and money.
The motive check:
Do not be amazed when a man grows rich,
when the splendor of his house increases.
For when he dies, he will carry nothing away;
his abundance will not follow him down.
Though in his lifetime he blesses his soul—
and men praise you when you prosper—
he will join the generation of his fathers,
who will never see the light of day.
A man who has riches without understanding
is like the beasts that perish.
This Psalm always reminds me of the foolishness of coveting. Psalm 49 is a great reminder that we can't take anything with us. Even when we become rich or see others prosper in wealth, we should not be amazed by it or swayed. Also, as believers, pursing wisdom and asking for it to rule our lives, not bank account numbers, will give us eternal riches that is far more than paper or plastic.
Our heart motive should be to seek God for wisdom, and cry out of understanding (Proverbs) because when we do, we put ourselves in alignment with God's desires and how to accumulate wealth without being deceived by ambition or a false sense of security with it.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
I wont post the whole thing here, but I suggest going and reading the full story in Luke 16:19-31! We celebrate the powerful, the mighty, the strong, and successful here on earth because we long for what appears to be an "easier life". When you think of a life of luxury and being dripped down in name brand things, consider that was the lifestyle of this rich man in this story.
Lazarus, however, was a begger, a feeble man, and who was afflicted in his body. He was overlooked as a nobody while on earth, yet when he and the rich man passed away, he was the one who God honored.
This story is one to remind that God views things completely different than we do. In wealth pursuits, there may be a temptation to look down on those without in a haughty way. The Bible is very clear that is a terrible trap to fall into. If God increases us financially, then it is always for His glory and will include the purpose of caring for those who have needs.
Don't Forfeit Your Soul
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
At the expense of their soul, people have pursued after notoriety, fame, success, and fortune. At what cost is it for the whole world to know someone's name and their person-hood be lifted up? And when that forfeiture has been incurred, what price can he then pay to buy it back again?
Which brings us to the true spiritual fight that we're in, which is the battle for who will have our souls.
Who Will You Worship
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”
“Away from Me, Satan!” Jesus declared. “For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’
Now that we know that we have to guard are hearts from wrong motives, deceitfulness of riches, selling our soul and resisting Satan, now let's look on how God encourages us to make money:
By Seeking and Asking God for Wisdom:
Proverbs 8:10, 11
Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
By Being Disciplined:
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle,
but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
By Being A Diligent Worker:
“Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”
By Approaching Debt with Extreme Prudence:
“One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.”
By Making Wise Investments:
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”
By Being Generous:
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
My approach to my relationship with money is with this: I don't serve money. I serve God. While I'm serving God, money serves me.
Join us on this months study as we look deeper at the money principles in scripture.
Until next time,