Sunday, December 19, 2010

You cannot serve both God and money.

I think a lot of American Christians make the mistake of assuming that if they aren't in debt, they are pretty much following God's will for their finances. However, money may still control you just as strongly (or maybe even more strongly), if your every action and thought and first priority is about saving or increasing your wealth. Crown Financial Ministries sends out a weekly e-mail which last week contained this quick article that I really liked. I've excerpted and underlined a few of my favorite points.

God will never use money to worry us. If a Christian is worried, frustrated, and upset about money, God is not in control. God said that worry is not in His plan for our lives (Matthew 6:25). If we are relying on His guidance, He will supply all our needs, just as He has promised. So, believing that, we can concentrate on other things.

God will not cause Christians to hoard. There is a distinct difference between saving and hoarding. Saving is biblically recommended in order to be prepared for inevitable emergencies or adversity. Hoarding is putting money aside to guard against any and all calamities, yet seldom using it for family emergencies or financial setbacks. A Christian cannot be within God’s will and hoard money. Hoarding prevents Christians from seeing the needs of others and prohibits them from abandoning even a small portion of their hoarded funds to help the needy. Unfortunately, those who are guilty of hoarding usually can rationalize their behavior with so-called righteous arguments, but their arguments are contrary to the Word of God.

God will not use money to satisfy every whim and desire. It is important that we begin to adjust our lifestyles to be consistent and compatible with a Christian commitment. That commitment does not include lavishness. God does not want us to live in poverty; there is nothing inherently spiritual in poverty. Neither is there any sin in wealth. However, God does not desire for his people to live in worldly lavishness while His work needs to be funded and brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world do not even have the basics of food and clothing. So, although it is not wrong to live well, we should not live lavishly or extravagantly as nonbelievers. Our lifestyles must be guided by the Holy Spirit—not determined by the lifestyles of others, not even others within the Christian community. Although God does not supply the money to satisfy our every whim and desire, He has promised that He would meet our needs and provide an abundance so that we can help others. It is when we accept this principle that God will multiply our abundance as well.

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