We write today about money. This weekend’s very practical sermon based on Proverbs by Pastor Ed addressed money and financial practices. Money, as attributed to the Bible, has often been misquoted as being the “root of all evil.” Correctly stated, 1 Timothy 6:10 reads, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. . . .” It is the love of money and it is a root of evil, not the ultimate source though it finds itself as the basis of many a conflict in life. Hebrews 13:5 offers further enlightenment: Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have. . . . Once again, it comes down to personal choices and responsibilities. How money is valued, how it is idolized, how it is used is determined individually. Our culture, politics and growing world view where personal responsibility and accountability are an anathema, money, much like the debate about guns, demonizes the object and absolves the person. As Christ-followers we need not and must not succumb to such thinking. Make no mistake, God is the ultimate proponent of “human rights” as He created us with free will, the right and ability to choose. I believe to demonize the object and absolve the person is an affront to the Creator of the Universe.
Harkening back to last week’s sermon and blog post, the Apostle Paul stated in Philippians, “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” In our nation, a significant part of the “money problem” can be traced back to contentment. How much is enough? Of course money is a necessary component of life and not having enough to sustain basic living is a major issue and cannot be ignored. Yet for many of us, the basic is not the issue. Aptly stated by Pastor Ed, money is a tool. How we use it provides a fairly accurate picture of who we are and what we value most. If acquisition and accumulation of money and what money buys dominates our thinking than it ceases to be a tool and becomes our slave master. Juxtaposed to our national loathing of slavery it is ironic we so easily allow money to enslave us as evidenced by our culture of consumption and devouring debt.
Having experienced financial enslavement and freedom I can wholeheartedly recommend the latter. This is not a reference to the “bottom line” as we are not “rich folks” on the U.S. income scale. It is the peace of mind from contentment and the blessing of having money as a tool and not the slave master. This is also not only a bookkeeping matter but a matter of the heart. This is a spiritual matter and battle all at the same time. The more you know God and what He says about money and apply it, the better your financial shape. For those who are married or contemplating marriage, the second highest cause of marriage failures stem from financial issues. And as anyone who has been struggling in their marriage relationship knows, there is no peace. So whether you are married or single, getting your financial life in God’s order should be at the top of the “to do list” in 2018.
There are a number of resources to help you get out of debt, manage your money and deepen your faith. We highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University coming up in September. It is excellent and thorough. Need help sooner? We have suggestions at GateWay.