Monday, September 27, 2021
Our study of wisdom from Proverbs brings us to a touchy subject. We tend to get emotional, defensive, and argumentative when we discuss it. We probably need wisdom in this area of our lives more than any other because Scripture tells us it is one of the biggest indicators of the spiritual condition of our heart. The subject at hand is money.
Proverbs 23:4-5 “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Whenever the church of Jesus Christ takes up a discussion on money and finances there is the potential for great disagreement and conflict. If the church were to be compared to a car, then finances would be the potholes in the road waiting to throw the car’s steering out of alignment. Simple conversations between Christians can quickly become overheated when either the giving or the spending of money is the topic. It should not be so, but there are reasons why it is, and we need to honestly reflect on those reasons.
- Money has captured our affections. Let’s be realistic – we love money. We love the status it brings us when we have it. We have determined that the value of who we are as a person is directly related to the amount of money we have and are able to spend. We have given money the power to determine our personal worth. We also love the things money can provide for us, because we have given possessions the power to also determine our personal worth. We have bought into the secular standards of success by believing that the more we have and are able to manage the more successful we are. Money has captured our affections because we tend to minimize the truth that God alone will fulfill our lives and give us a total sense of worth and purpose. That’s a big pothole we hit, and we need an alignment!
2. Our Biblical understanding of giving and our obedience to it has become a pride issue for us. We try to convince others in the church to give the way we give. We even use the guidelines we believe in to justify the personal use of our funds. We engage in arguments about the validity of tithing, or proportional giving, or generous giving, or sacrificial giving, or cheerful giving. But the real issue is not the method of giving. What matters most is that we believe that all that we have is God’s and is available for His use for His glory at any time. There should never be a discussion in our minds about what is God’s and what is mine. It is all God’s, and we are simply the stewards, or managers, of His resources. Whatever we believe about the Biblical guidelines for purposeful, planned giving to the church, there should be an underlying philosophy that guides the management of our money, and it is this: I will honor the owner with every decision that involves the use of His resources. Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
I think we will stop there for today, because hitting two potholes may have already caused a major steering problem for you and I’m afraid that you won’t be able to safely drive until you get an alignment. So, as soon as you’re done, make a call to the owner of Priority Alignment and let the head mechanic, the Holy Spirit, make any necessary adjustments. If God’s wisdom for finances isn’t properly aligned, your whole life may be hard to steer.