What place does money have in your life?
What are you chasing? Wealth or the Gospel? Most Christians would say the Gospel. And that’s right. But if you look a little closer, though, you’ll see that the search for wealth plays a big role in everybody’s life. No, I don’t want to be rich; I just want to have enough. I don’t want to roll in the money; I just want to buy the necessary.
But what does it cost you? Maybe we shouldn’t phrase our answers in terms of Rands and cents, but rather in terms of time. How much time must I spend to earn such a lifestyle? How much am I prepared to give of myself and my marriage? Where will I draw the line between the requirements of the business or the job and my children’s expectations?
So easily, bit by bit, we are drawn into a lifestyle that takes more than what we were prepared to give. And the world out there doesn’t really help us – on the contrary, it pushes us closer to the precipice. It helps us to spend our money even before we got it.
The world doesn’t ask if we can afford it. It doesn’t ask how much money we have in the bank. How much time you have to spend away from your family to be able to pay the bills. It doesn’t ask what it will take from you as human being to be able to pay all the bills at the end of the month. No, the world gives you as much as possible on credit and with it, a big, heavy burden to drag along.
One of the workers who worked with me years ago in the building industry bought something that cost just more than R1 000 on credit, but fell behind with the repayments. Eventually he received an attorney’s letter. The court had ruled that they had to recover the outstanding money, with interest and costs, from the employee: More than R5 000! In an instant the burden became too heavy and the baggage rope slipped around his neck.
Later on, I was leading the funeral of one of the subcontractors’ father. It was a small funeral and the neighbour who had found him having a heart attack came to talk to me afterwards.
He spoke about his own problem with alcohol. I could see and smell that it was true. He said that he had tried to kill himself three times. I asked why. He answered one word: “Money”, and started telling the long story of how money stripped him of his whole being.
That is why Paul warns us seriously today: 9But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble.
That’s hard, you know. Maybe we’re not totally in this category, but maybe we should stop desiring what other people have all the time. Be satisfied with what you have. No, be grateful for what you have and enjoy it. That is why we should hold onto verse 8: 8… if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.
And if you’re blessed with prosperity, bless others with your wealth and rather ensure that it serves God’s Kingdom than worshipping it.
1 Timothy 6:9-10
How important is money to you?
Are you satisfied with what you have?
Shouldn’t you do something for others?
Heavenly Father, You are my provider. You give me what I need. Make me sincerely grateful for what I receive from You. Amen.