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« You Can Survive the Timeline of Change. | Main | You Can Beat Your Bitterness »

Don’t Let Money Destroy You 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Two typical patterns emerge in matters of money: Financial adversity.  After managing to survive financially for several years, a crisis occurs (loss of job, illness, etc.). Insecurity and fear develops about money. Peers prosper while your finances stagnate or worsen. Tithes and offerings seem impossible. You become obsessed with what you lack instead of what you have.  Envy, jealousy, and resentment torment you. Financial prosperity. Having come from an average or even poor financial background, things begin to go very well for you. Money opens up a new range of possibilities for you in purchasing power, leisure time and social status.  Possessions start claiming more and more of your time. Your new status puts you into a new peer group with new expectations of you. Their opinions begin to crowd out spiritual relationships and obligations.  Money becomes the answer to every problem. Giving to God loses its sacrificial meaning. Finally, God is no longer in first place. 

Money itself is not the problem.  It is the attitude towards money that warrants our concern. I Timothy 6:10. “For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  Money is much more than a medium of exchange.  It means independence.  It stands for success by establishing a high standard of living.  Money represents a way to fulfill our needs and wants.  It can be a measure of devotion, but it can also be an instrument of power. 

Jesus called money “mammon.”  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:11. Mammon is a Syriac word for money, riches, property, worldly goods or profit, and possibly referred to a Syrian deity.  In other words, mammon is a power to which we surrender. Paul warned Timothy, But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10. 

Money elicits several driving forces, like fear of too little, anxiety of having too much, guilt if it was gained illegally, greed that motivates a desire for more, etc.  But you must understand that money is not an end in itself or that possessions do not measure your life.  The most important strategy you must use is to place your use of money into a moral context.  Are you getting, giving and using money for the glory of God?  Live according to God’s law of ownership. “The earth is the LORD’S, everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1.  Use, do not serve money.  Money is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use it!  

Since we earn our money through gainful employment, you need to develop practical attitudes about money and work.  Work is good and necessary.  You should shun work that destroys or corrupts.  Keep your boss/employee relationship ethical.  Refuse to take advantage of your neighbor.  Dedicate yourself to a personal giving program.  But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able … always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.

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