For those of faith, sometimes it seems like money and faith are opposites. We have a hard time figuring out how they can work together.
Unfortunately many people in the church have an unhealthy view of money. “It’s inherently evil and will destroy your life!” It can seem dirty. The reason for this preconception is because Jesus teaches how the earth isn’t our home.
We’re here temporarily, merely a dot on the timeline of eternity. Money, as a result, has no eternal value to it.
And Christ says in the sermon on the mount,
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.Matthew 6:24
Paul says that the “love of money is the root of all evil” in one of the most misquoted verses in scripture.
Again, Jesus warns of the traps that money brings when he tells the rich young ruler to give all that he has to the poor and to follow him.
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.Matthew 19:24
Clearly there’s a lot of faith based concerns about issues that money can bring in life. “But if you have enough of it, you don’t have to worry about anything! You can buy anything you want, do anything you want, go anywhere you want!”
Which is where an unhealthy view of money begins.
The issue for people of faith is this: our one and only god in life should be God. Not money, not fame, not a big house, not a nice car. We are to rely on God in all that we do. The challenges of life give us the opportunity to surrender all control to God, trusting he’ll sustain us. When I have money, it can rob me of the opportunity to give full control to God because, hey, I have what I need, I can do what I want.
Money is a tool. It’s inanimate. It’s amoral. It’s neither good nor bad.
Money isn’t the problem. It’s a heart problem. That’s why Paul specifically says “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” Anything you put into that sentence can be the root of all evil if there is an unhealthy love of it.
Then why is it that Jesus focuses on money so much? I think it’s because money is the most versatile tool we have. If you have money, it’s easy to get things you want and need. And it’s easier to replace God in your life.
So how do we get a healthy view of money?
Let’s look at 3 ways we can work on this.
3 Ways to Gain a Healthy View of Money
1. Practice generosity
The first way to understand a healthy view of money is by practicing generosity. When we give what we have to those in need, it impacts our worldly viewpoint. As Christians, we’re called to give a tenth of our money to church as a tithe.
I think regular giving is incredibly important to maintain a healthy perspective on money. It helps us focus on whose money it actually is. It keeps us grounded and helps prevent greed from taking over our lives. In fact, no joke, when we can tell greed is starting to creep in, Bailey and I try to increase our giving.
Which brings us to our second point.
2. Understand from where money comes
A healthy view of money simply begins by understanding from where it comes. In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, Jesus talks about a master who entrusts his servants with his money before he leaves on a trip.
Before the master returns, his first servant doubles the money entrusted to him. The second also doubles the money entrusted to him. But the third hides his portion out of fear.
In the parable, we see two things — First, the money is ENTRUSTED to the servants. It is never theirs to own, it is only theirs to manage. Second, the first two servants are good stewards of the money entrusted to them.
Everything we have has been entrusted to us by God. We’re merely managers of what he’s placed before us. Our responsibility as managers is to spend, give and save money in a way that glorifies God. Just like you expect your financial advisor to manage your retirement funds well, God expects us to manage his money well. And just as your financial advisor has to answer to you for the way he manages your money, we have to answer to God.
This doesn’t mean we have to give 100% of our money away. Obviously there are needs you and your family have as well. But, as Christians, we’re called to give 10% back to God for his work, while managing the other 90% in a way that honors him.
3. Pray for an eternal perspective
And the third point is simply that prayerfully asking God to give you an eternal perspective will help you maintain a healthy view of money.
So is money evil? Absolutely not.One step further, is it wrong to have nice things? Absolutely not. But, when money is an idol in your life, it’s an issue. Just like anything else that takes the place of God in your life.
Money is a necessary tool and when we focus too much on it, we don’t give God the space to show himself in our lives.
So let me pass this question onto you — What’s your perspective of money relative to your faith?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments down below!
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