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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Truth About Money

Jesus called upon us to be driven by good, and not driven by greed. So it is perplexing to see that our culture ... including our contemporary Christian culture ... has fallen to the greed epidemic.

According to a survey reported in Time magazine, a remarkable 61% of Americans who identify themselves as Christians believe that God wants them to be prosperous (defined as having considerably more than they need). Another 31% of the same group believe that if you give money to God, God will bless you with more money.

It sounds like a Jesus hedge fund, where your investments are guaranteed to grow.

The Bible has always been clear about money and its proper perspective in our lives. It isn't supposed to matter. Of course that's a huge challenge for most human beings. Why? Because in our modern-day world, money seems to matter more than most anything. It seems we can't do anything without it ... which keeps us singularly focused on money. Because despite what the Bible tells us, our human experience is that money is power. And it's a lie that we all get trapped in from time to time.

But equally as dangerous as the prosperity theology is the eschewing of money altogether. 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evils. However it does not say that the love of money is the source of all evil. Nor does it say that money itself is evil. These are important distinctions to make.

Taking a vow of poverty or living in a barter society or hating money are no healthier perspectives to have than greed and prosperity theology. So we've got this dilemma. Think of it as a fine line that must be walked. It's the line between loving and hating money. Apparently it's a very fine line. Even when we hit it, we have great trouble staying on that line. Many is the righteous man who has fallen victim to the ills that money can bring.

You see, Scripture recognizes that money is necessary for survival. But it warns against the love of money (Matthew 6:24; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Money is dangerous because it is so deceptive. It tricks us into thinking that it has more power than it really does. It deceives us into thinking that wealth is the easiest way to get everything we want. And the love of money is sinful because it leads us to trust money more than we trust God to solve our problems, take care of us, secure our future, etc.

I think the question we must answer is how on earth God can bless us with money without us being taken in by money and its power or influences. It seems to me that the only way that would ever be accomplished is if we have a proper regard for money in the first place. And I say that money can't be in its proper perspective unless we first have God in His proper perspective.

So --- how well do you rally know God? However well you know God will determine what perspective you are able to put money in.

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