There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, mind, and the purse.
Shopping is now the number one leisure activity in America, usurping the place previously held by religion. Amazon.com is the new temple. The Visa statement is the new altar. Double-clicking is the new liturgy. Lifestyle bloggers are the priests and priestesses. Money is the new god. There’s a reason the only other god Jesus ever called out by name was Mammon—the god of money – because it’s a bad god and a lousy religion.
Jesus Christ said more about money than about any other single thing because, when it comes to a man’s real nature, money is of first importance. Money is an exact index to a man’s true character. All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.
If we live in God’s value system, we begin to learn that love has both emotional expressions and material expressions. Financial prosperity positions us to either hoard up wealth for ourselves and live comfortably in this life or release greater expressions of God’s love toward others. Jesus told one rich young man to give all his wealth away if he wanted to consider himself a follower of Jesus. But the young man chose instead to walk away from following God and retain his wealth in this lifetime—forsaking the true wealth that could have been his (see Matthew 19:16-24). He valued his money over a relationship with Jesus.
If we don’t get out of worry, we risk getting into idolatry. Idols are anything we need to check with before we say yes to God, and quite often, money is something people are checking with, and worrying about it only reveals we are trusting it instead of Him.
February 1, 2020
Better to be married to a happy person with a thin wallet than a miserable person with a thick one.
It is not persecution of the church in China that I fear. The church has always been able to weather persecution. My fear is love of money in the church.
If believers in God don’t honor the cries and claims of the poor, we don’t honor him, whatever we profess, because we hide his beauty from the eyes of the world. When we pour ourselves out for the poor—that gets the world’s notice.
Too often we assume that God has increased our income to increase our standard of living, when his stated purpose is to increase our standard of giving. (Look again at 2 Corinthians 8:14 and 9:11).