By Don Gentry
Did you know that I can make a very compelling argument that the Bible talks about money more than any other topic? Did you know that Jesus talked more about money than any other topic? Did you know that 11 of Jesus’ 39 parables are about money? Did you know that the number one way to offend people in church is to talk about money?
I don’t feel like I know much about money, but one thing that I am convinced of is that we must talk about money and learn to get control over it in our lives. Why? There is a very simple truth, If you don’t control your money, your money will control you!
There seems to be a universal feeling that no matter how much we have, it is never really enough. Though I have gotten much better with age, I used to never be content. I was always striving for “something more.” I joined every multi-level marketing company known to man. Some of them were completely legitimate business models, and some were questionable. My reason for this constant pursuit was because my money had me, I didn’t have my money!
The scriptures say,
“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.” I Timothy 6:10
If I am honest with myself, there have been seasons in my life where I have genuinely loved money. I didn’t wander from my faith, but I definitely pierced myself with unnecessary troubles.
Jesus also says,
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
He goes on to say,
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:19-21,24
Christians don’t like talking about money because it often reveals who is their true master and savior. This is a problem and is the reason why we must learn to be honest with ourselves and prioritize our money.
I could site scripture upon scripture about how we are to view our money, use our money, and invest our money. Instead, I want to end with the most valuable lesson on money I have discovered regardless of how much money I actually have. I have managed to make many foolish decisions with my money and had to learn some very difficult lessons, and I have also made some very good decisions as well. There is only one truth that has remained consistent. My most valuable lesson is found in the book of Philippians.
12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
Many people quote verse 13 as their inspiration to be able to overcome anything, but Paul wrote verse 13 as the key to contentment and how he prioritizes his cash flow.
Money is a big deal but who we make our savior is a bigger deal. Do you look for Christ to guide and direct your every decision or does your quest for financial peace guide your decision? If you learn to prioritize, you can keep the order in alignment with God’s word.
See you this Sunday as we continue our quest for making first things first.