The Christian and Money

Money and Wealth

The love of money deceives and brings destruction (cf. ). There is a story of a wealthy young ruler who experienced the deception and destruction of money. Filled with zeal, he approached the Lord Jesus Christ wanting to know what he could do to inherit eternal life (). After some discussion, Jesus exposed this young man’s heart by revealing that this young man placed greater value on earthly possessions rather than eternal life. After our Lord issued a requirement that demanded a high cost, with much grief and disappointment the young man departed (). Our Lord said to His disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” ().

Though money is not evil in and of itself, money can be a trap. In his final chapter in his first letter to Timothy, Paul had raised the dangers of the greedy desire for money (). THere were those who had an¬†ungodly perspective on material blessings. This ungodly perspective began with a selfish desire (“those who desire to be rich“), turned into deception (“fall into temptation into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires“) and ended in destruction (“that plunge people into ruin and destruction“). The reason for this is because the “love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (a). Wealth is not sinful, however those that crave financial gain have an ungodly perspective.

As he comes to the end of the letter he addresses the issue of believers who have wealth. How should they view their money? Sadly, this topic has been horribly abused by many with two extremes: many is evil and on the other extreme money is a sign of spiritual blessing. Moving away from extremes, let us go back to Scripture. In , Paul provides Timothy with instructions for the wealthy. He begins by saying, “as for the rich in this present age” (6:17a). In this word to the wealthy, he goes on to provide the attitudes () and actions () relating to the use of money. At the heart of this passage is a right understanding of possessions. The understanding in this passage is the recognition that what we have comes from the Lord and therefore it ought to be used for His glory.

After generous gifts had been brought to the temple, King David prays a prayer of thanksgiving. In this prayer he offers thanksgiving to the Lord and rightly recognises that the Lord is the source of all that we have. Consider these words that provide a right understand of wealth and possesions,

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.¬†Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all” ().

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

17 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.

18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.