Perhaps I should change the focus of this blog to debunking stupid memes, SMH…
I’ll post this one and let’s see if you can figure out why it’s erroneous.
I’ll give you a few minutes (plays Final Jeopardy music).
Did you get it?
I’m sure you did, because this is basic Bible right here. Or at least, it should be. It should be so basic that there should not be as many different forms of this meme circulating as there are, because the MINUTE it was put up SOMEONE should have been able to correct the person who, despite their attempt to be clever, thought up this meme.
Let’s clean that up, shall we?
Money itself is not bad. The LOVE of money, which has been instrumental in rotting man’s mind for years, is the root of all evil. Need we delve further into that, or can we see instances each and every day where someone is harming another person or group of people just so they can have more money? I’ve heard people claim that America is a Christian nation, and I beg to differ. The god of America in general is MONEY.
As Christians we have to be careful not to get swept up into materialism. I like Paul’s attitude in Philippians 4:11-12: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.“
I don’t imagine Paul was a rich man. As we read the story of his life, we find that his Christian journey was filled with more trials and tribulations than most of us can imagine. He was imprisoned on multiple occasions, bitten by a snake, shipwrecked, beaten… and he never put his trust in anything or anyone other than Jesus. Yet, he was content. That is the attitude of a person who knows that life in Jesus is better than life with millions of dollars and no Jesus.
I don’t think it’s wrong for Christians to have desires. As I’ve mentioned before, I would love to have a bigger house with a huge backyard so I can plant a big old vegetable garden (cucumbers, tomatoes, greens, beans, herbs and spices for cooking) and put up a clothes line (I am old school like that. I love the smell of FRESH laundry). But in the meantime, I am happy in our house right now, and if we don’t move, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We have everything we need here.. All of the appliances work, each kid has a bedroom, the neighborhood is safe, and most importantly, it’s affordable. If our house cost more it’s possible we wouldn’t be able to go on as many trips as we do. So I think it’s a fair trade-off.
I’ve never been a materialistic person anyway, so I don’t really struggle with that. But for those that do, it is necessary to first realize that everything you have, have had, and will have comes from God. He knows what is best for us, and He will provide our needs and in good measure, our wants–according to His will. We as Christians have to understand that that little green paper is simply a means to an end. Our trust has to always remain in Jesus.
I’ve known wealthy people and in general they’ve seemed to be pretty flipping miserable in one way or another. Some have been beyond snobby, as though that paper makes them more important than the next person. I’ve never been impressed with that, because I know that my GOD is no respecter of persons. I am not on this earth to impress another person. I have favor in God’s eyes, so that person with his money doesn’t bother me. Others have been super anxious. Keeping up with the Joneses is never-ending. They were never satisfied, because even when they got the biggest television set, a new one would come out and then they’d have to find ways to get it. There’s always a newer, better car coming out, a bigger, fancier boat, etc. I just don’t have the time, patience or the cares to be wasting that much time out of MY life trying to impress someone else who, in the grand scheme of things, has NO bearing on how my life here or in heaven will turn out.
I’ve also known people with money who were humble and generous. Again, in my opinion, they were much happier than the snobs or the posers.
I of course am not a wealthy person. Instead of money, I am giving of my time and talents. Wherever I can help out, I do. But if I ever became wealthy, there is no way I could imagine myself hoarding millions of dollars when I know good and well there are people out there who aren’t eating. I can’t understand that attitude, nor do I wish to.
In terms of money, Christians should strive to be debt-free. We shouldn’t make it a habit to owe people money (I understand that in the way our financial system is set up, that is sometimes easier said than done–my student loans were a bad decision, for example). But we should avoid needless debt. Why? Prime example: My exorbitant student loans. No matter how much I paid, it seemed as though the balance would never go down. So what happened? I’ve lost sleep, spent nights worrying about it, and would work extra hours, even on Sundays when I should have been in church, to pay them down. Debt can take away your joy, your inner peace, and remove you from God. Every where you go, someone is offering you a charge card or a line of credit–be careful.
We should happily support your church. If you’re concerned about where your money is going when you provide your tithes and offerings, ask for a financial report. And if you’re not convinced your money is going toward Godly endeavors, perhaps you need a new church home. God gives us the money so that we can take care of ourselves and build his kingdom. He can also take it away if you misuse it, or worse, you can lose rewards in heaven if you are parsimonious and fail to tend to the needs of God’s most vulnerable here on earth.
The fact is, if you are a Christian, nothing God has given you is just for you alone. Nope. We should be utilizing all of our resources–finances included–to build God’s kingdom. The world needs that, not more money floating around to corrupt more minds.