I used to think that money was anti-God: that having money meant you wouldn’t be faithful to God and if you are a faithful child of God, you aren’t likely to have lots of money. Obviously, I was so wrong.
I believed that school of thought because I had heard many people quote scriptures like: ‘You cannot serve God and mammon..’ and ‘money is the root of all evil..’. They often use these scriptures to validate their claims that one cannot be rich and follow God… that one must go for the other. That never really went down well with me. But since I didn’t understand it. I just believed it… and I was so wrong.
Let’s reason this out together. The bible described Abraham as a very rich man and he was also named the father of faith. Same with people like Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David.. these guys were in control of so much, yet their heart was with God. That doesn’t sound like they chose money over God or his having God meant no money or small money. At the same time, there were people who didn’t have as much but didn’t follow God too. In fact, even in today’s world… we see that every day. Now, I ask… Is money really to blame? Or is there something more to one’s faithfulness to God?
It actually goes beyond money. It is a heart matter. Money like every other idol is capable of turning the heart of a man from God. And what is an idol? Basically, anything you exalt above God… is an idol. The case then isn’t about the money but your heart. The question is: “What is your heart set on? Whom do you trust for your life?God is not anti-money. God is anti-anything that takes your heart away from Him Click To Tweet
This is not to say money (like other things) doesn’t lure the heart away but because you are committed to God, you take check measures to ensure your heart is in God. You must be very careful that you don’t shift your trust from God to money because it is actually very easy.
I recall one time when I was in school, I was fond of ensuring my savings account doesn’t go below a certain amount. If you asked me at that point, I’d tell you… my heart was trusting in God even for my life. One time, a personal project came up and I went way below that limit. My heart was shaking literally and the what-ifs never stopped flooding my heart. I didn’t know when I started to worry sick about my life.I had gazed so much at my bank account statement that I lost sight of who my source truly was. Click To Tweet
Then I caught myself one day and I realized, I had put my trust in my savings however little it was. That was why when it was gone, my heartfelt insecure. For so many others, it’s certifications, people you know (connection), your beauty and what-have-you. These things aren’t in themselves bad because God created them all for us to enjoy. But if not check, our heart can shift base in trust in these gifts of life rather than in the giver-God.
So when Jesus was speaking in Matthew 6:24. He wasn’t asking us to throw away all the money we own and refuse to have money. He was talking about the heart – for whom you serve is who your master is. Your heart can’t be given to money and God at the same time.I just love how Paul explains it here:
1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
See that?! Paul is again talking about the heart… What is your hope fixed in? Would you trust God as your source even when your salary isn’t coming forth? or are you securely trusting in that money such that once it’s gone, you lose faith?
So Paul says… “instruct them that are rich..” and obviously he was writing to believers. It is not a sin for a believer to be rich.
Let’s zoom in a little on what the instructions are for rich believers such that no matter how much they have, their heart, hope and trust remains in God. Paul instructs that… with your wealth be rich in good works. Give, give, give! Not only when you have so much because really how much is enough for a man? (Ecclesiastes 5:10) Really you can always do with more. Even if it is good works you are doing with the riches. there would always be a need for more good works. But believers ought to be content people. Many in a bid to have more have found themselves in diverse forms of sin (I Timothy 6:6-12). Guard your heart and keep your life from the love of money, trust that God is more than capable to provide for you till you grow grey hair. (Hebrews 13:5)
So with the one, you have however little and however much, do good works. Give to the work of God and to good causes. Discipline yourself not to use your riches for yourself and your family alone, give. Learn to give generously. There is something giving does to you: It teaches you that God is your true source as no matter how much you give out, God still takes care of you and that’s the whole point – your heart remaining fixed with God.There is something giving does to you: It teaches you that God is your true source as no matter how much you give out Click To Tweet
I’ll end with this: Matthew 6: 19-21 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.