Many Christians unprepared for wealth. How about YOU?
by Michael Tummillo
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It's in the DNA of many Christians. Multitudes have been programmed into believing money is bad, evil, and those who have too much of it may only possess a quick ticket to Hell.
Practically speaking, we need money to function and survive here on planet earth. We need money to advance the Gospel most effectively. We need money in order to gain favor with others in positions of power. We need money to print tracts, Bibles, ship products and support missionaries in distressed nations, and build places of worship.
God blessed Abraham so he could be a blessing (Genesis 12). Selfishness is when one thinks only about one's needs and greeds and those of no one else, when God said, “He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord and that which he has given will He pay him again.”
Are you able to “lend to the poor” as every opportunity presents itself?
Are you living a hand-to-mouth existence?
Are you simply trading time for money at your job?
Many years ago, I wrote letters to the President of WalMart, the Founder of Chick-Fil-A, and several other well-known wealthy Christians. I ultimately received in response a call from WalMart's leader, an autographed book and a short note from the Chick-Fil-A boss, and a local philanthropic business owner whom I dropped-in on unannounced and uninvited wound up spending 2 hours with me.
What was I doing? I was preparing to accumulate wealth, even learning the pitfalls from those who had been there.
The call to do anything is, in reality, the call to prepare. That being said, what kind of information are you ingesting lately through TV the Internet and reading materials? With whom are you speaking regarding concepts and ideas? How are you handling the little you've been entrusted with? Can God trust you with more?
See, while most Christians talk a good game, even buying lotto tickets and playing Publisher's Clearing House, we haven't REALLY made ourselves ready to prosper. As a nation and as individuals, we spend like drunken sailors. Probably because, deep down, we don't REALLY believe we'll ever have any more than we can personally earn or steal.
We can blame recessions and economic downturns all we want. Personally, I don't believe we Christians need to participate. Why? Because we must have an abundant supply in order to meet the demands all around us. God will do His part; will we?
Proverbs 13:22, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”
Are we ready to steward that wealth? What might be keeping us from acquiring it?
I contend one of the reasons Christians are afraid of wealth is because we're afraid it will change us personally. Money can only DO what the character of the person possessing it ALLOWS it to do. By that I mean, if a person is a giver, with more money, they will become an even bigger giver. Those who hoard money will only become hoarders of greater quantities when given more.
Money only amplifies the character of the person who has it. So, instead of a person worrying about money changing them, the person should make sure their character meets God's standards according to His Word, and use money to help change lives.
God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. Therefore, let Him deal with our character! Do not resist His chastening. Resist the devil's schemes against your life – those things that aren't serving you well at all.
We worry about money changing us when in fact we should use money to change situations and circumstances for others. After all, God has His own intentions for money. Wisdom says we should get on board with THAT and stop accumulating stuff for stuff's sake. God says (Deut. 8:18) to “remember the Lord thy God for it is He that gives you the power (ability) to get wealth so that He may establish His covenant in the earth.” God is concerned about souls coming into His Kingdom. Period. He wants to advance that Kingdom cause in concert with US!
Another reason Christians are afraid of wealth is because many have been taught poverty is godly. This is just my opinion, but I think this doctrine originated from Mark 10 where Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and go give to the poor and then come and follow him. The text clearly shows that this young man trusted ONLY in his riches, and anything you trust more than the Lord, "that very thing" becomes an idol.
Jesus also said in Matthew 6:24 that no man can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. “You cannot serve God and mammon (riches).” The reason for this is because money gives options to a person who has it, and in a sense it can become an idol. Ecclesiastes says Money answers all things.
A person who has the answer to all things (money) can become fooled into thinking that same money answers everything, when in fact it does not! Money can buy life insurance, but it cannot buy life. It can buy a beautiful house on a gated hill, but it cannot buy a home where a family is united.
Only God can provide everything we need according to His riches in glory. The rich young ruler had to learn this lesson and it would begin by him giving up what he was trusting in (money) to follow Jesus and learn to trust Him. But it doesn't stop there. As soon as a person places God in His rightful place in their life, He is no longer opposed to them having riches. It's OK for a person to have money but, too often, money has the person.
1 Timothy 6:10 teaches us: “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” Even poor people can love money. When mankind chops down a tree and uses the wood to keep warm, cook with, build a house and a boat with, our nature is to worship that which we come to depend upon. Career, cash, success, a wealthy bloodline...these and other things can divert a person's attention away from the Providence of God in our lives to the point of offering Him mere lip service because we know in whom we have placed our faith: The Almighty Dollar.
Do we REALLY worship God? One glance at our calendars and checkbooks can be very revealing as to where our TRUE allegiance lies.
There you have it. God really DOES want us to prosper. What do YOU think about that? Not only do most of us NOT believe we can – or SHOULD - but so many don't know how.
We spend more than we make.
We spend foolishly.
We don't know much about budgeting or saving.
From the federal government on down, we've a great deal of work to do.
Founder, The Church @ Work (TCAW)
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