I was brought up by a generation that didn’t talk about money. I rarely ever heard my parents mention it…until it was time to teach me about money and how to earn it. But as for money …if my parents were poor, rich or somewhere in the middle…I had no clue!
Looking back….I can remember as a child…driving the 8 miles on Friday night with my parents to get hot dogs at the “Lucky Strike” restaurant. My dad and mom got hot dogs with mayo, chili and onions and my sister and I each ordered a hot dog plain with ketchup! I do remember wanting two hot dogs one time. When my dad ordered he didn’t get his usual two but he did get two for me.
As I grew up…I put two and two together…and realized that there was only money enough for a total of 5 hot dogs–two for dad and one each for my mother, sister and me. I had no idea money was an issue for ordering extra food. As I grew up I started to realize, from observation, that some people did have more than others.
My dad would always say, “Money isn’t everything but try living without it!” It was that simple phrase that made me know money was important. You need it to live…but it wasn’t all to life…there was much more. As I grew up my mother would tell me…”Money is a magnifier”. She said that you could learn a lot about people when you observe what they did with their money or if you had money dealings with them. Basically she was saying: Money magnifies what is important to people and how they view it. At 53 my parents’ wisdom and example of how they approached money has been a great teacher for me.
What does scripture say about money? A ton! Some people have majorly taken scripture out of context by saying things such as, “Money is evil”. Actually scripture states in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” [emphasis mine]
Notice it just says some. I thank God for the people who have worked their fannies off in life …to be more and make more. I am thankful for what they have done with their money as well. Some people who have earned a lot…and desired a lot…have done great things. I consider those people to be very wise. Those are the people who have made money but it hasn’t owned them. Those are the people who have used money to “magnify the lives of others” and, in turn, it has brought glory to the Lord. :o)
Those are the people who understand God is their first LOVE. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and money.” These people are ones who view money as a vehicle or tool that God can use in their lives to do GOOD things. Proverbs 17:16 states, “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom.”
The key point I glean from scripture is this…Let God be your first LOVE. Seek Wisdom from HIM. Work hard to provide for your family but allow God to direct you with HIS WISDOM when it comes to your money.
Often I see people use the following scripture as a reason to not be more and make more. Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.'” Wherever you are in life at the moment, God always wants you to be “content”…”resting in Him…trusting in HIM.”
This scripture is not referring to sitting and resting on your laurels while waiting on the money truck to back up to your house and deliver…the bank. If you study all of scripture as it relates to life, especially money and time, WE are to work hard. Proverbs 14:23, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” And Proverbs 12:11, “Those who work their land will have abundant food.” We are to be seeking God first in all we do. Allowing Him to direct us and give wisdom to us in how we use our money and our time.
Another key passage is found in 1 Timothy 5:8. It tells us, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Yes, we should provide for our families and our relatives but not as an enabler causing the person to not take on their responsibility as an adult. Ephesians 4:28 states, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands so that he may have something to share.”
No one should be a thief. We are all called to work. In Exodus 20:9 we are told, “Six days you shall labor, and do All your WORK, the seventh day is for rest.” [emphasis mine] That applies to all of us. All of us are called by God to work…and SHARE…but we are not to lean and depend…on others. WE all are expected to labor.
One of the best books, besides the Bible, I have ever read about money and the proper use of it is Andy Stanley’s book, “Be RICH!” If you truly want to be rich in life…the kind of RICH God wants everyone to experience…read this book!
Money is a magnifier. What does money say about my life? What does money say about yours?