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What Is Money?
by Thomas Tottleben 
Not For Sale
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Let me answer this question by saying first and foremost that money is not 'the root of all evil'. This statement is actually a misquote of 1Timothy 6:10 KJV. What is stated is, "The love of money is the root of all evil". So it is our attitude or heart towards money that makes the difference.

One of the best illustrations that Jesus uses to teach us about money attitudes is the story about the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17. Jesus uses money to show this young man his heart concerning it. After talking to Jesus it became clear that he had a love for money and had a lot of it. You might say that instead of him having a lot of money, it would be more appropriate to say that 'his money had him'. He was smitten by it. This is a situation that has become all too common in today's materialistic world.

Here are some facts to consider when discussing money and material possessions in the Bible. Did you know that Jesus spoke a great deal about things? He spoke about them 84 times in Matthew, 52 times in Mark and 91 times in Luke. Sixteen of the 38 parables deal with the right and wrong uses of money or material possessions. The topic of one out of every seven verses in the Gospel is the same. He spoke more about money than anything else so maybe He is trying to show us something.

In my experience I have found that a person's relationship with money has little to do with the amount they possess. You may be surprised to know that there are people who love money just as much as this young ruler who have very little to speak of. Do I think it is true that a person does not have to have much money to have the wrong attitude about money? Let me answer that with a short story.

My wife and I taught in a small inner city church for six years. The majority of the people were on welfare but nearly everyone loved to talk about money. We heard about all the possible scenarios like "when my ship comes in I going to buy a big house with maids and butlers", or "when I win the lottery I'm going to buy a big fancy car", or "when my rich uncle dies and leaves me all that money then I'm going to......"

There had been so much lack and poverty in that area (for generations) that they actually boasted about their lust for money. They made no qualms about it and even bragged about being willing to do nearly anything to get more of it.

Is it safe to say that money became their god? It appeared to me that this was the case even though they didn't much to speak of. Money will nearly always become an idol or a god when we fail to understand the purpose or mission for the money that God has entrusted to us (see my article in this category: "Altars or Idols?")

One day I asked the Lord to take me deeper in my understanding of money and how to use it properly for His Kingdom. This is what I understood Him to show me.

Most of us have heard the expression, 'time is money'. From a marketplace or an economic point of view I believe this is a true statement. I believe the reverse is also true 'money equals time'. In other words money is a representation of our lives since most of us exchange our time on the job or services for money. There is an exchange that takes place.

Let me illustrate further. Contrary to popular belief when you buy a car or a house you don't actually pay for it with green slips of paper with the pictures of U.S. Presidents on them. You pay for it with with your life. If your car costs $20,000 and your salary is $10 per hour you can calculate how many hours of your life it took you to work at your job to earn the money to pay the car off. In this case it would take you 2,000 hours of your life that you laid down at the work place to pay for that automobile. A house costing $150,000 would take 15,000 hours of your life to pay for it (not counting interest). We are talking about paying for these things with our lives. In essence, our money represents our lives.

Most of the Christians I have met say they want to be more like Jesus. Do you? If you want to be more like Jesus do you really mean it? Okay, I believe you if you are sincere. Please open your spirit to what I am about to say I am about to show you a way where you can be more like Jesus than any other way I know. Here it goes......

The next time the offering baskets are passed around in church, there is no greater opportunity to be more like Jesus than for you to lay your life down for the One who first laid His life down for you.

Tom Tottleben

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Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Shaffron 18 Sep 2004
Strong message here but very, very true and exactly what God has been revealing to my heart. Strong writing as well-however, missed a word in para 4 "people who love money who ? very" and the 6th para "worshipped it even though they didn't ? much" you know it should be have in both places. We need very strong admonishment in these last days. Thank you. The point being of course---it's the attitude of the heart, not just plunking money in the bucket..
LaTara Ham-Ying 17 Sep 2004
Wow! Wow! Wow! That's all I can say.
Marina Rojas 16 Sep 2004
This is tantamount to many Stewardship sermons I've heard throughout my Christian walk, and would be a good teaching tool for new Christians if delivered in a loving manner. As for reading it, I felt as if I was being admonished for not throwing my check book in the offering plate. You're speaking truths, my Brother, I would love to "hear" your writing tone sound a little more merciful towards those who are weak.


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