“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
In my 15 years of studying what the Bible says about money and possessions, I realize there are often three kinds of perspectives in the church today on this topic.
First, money is not a spiritual topic – it is secular and should stay out of the church. This type of person may believe that money is a “necessary evil” in the world and that it gets in the way of spiritual life. Truth: The Bible has a lot to say about money that applies to our spiritual lives. Yes, there are many warnings against the misuse of money. Equally there are many passages in the Bible that instruct the disciple on how to use money to further God’s Kingdom. For example, Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” Matthew 6:19-21 says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Second, all the Bible talks about regarding money is giving. Truth: Giving is a very important part of the disciple’s life. However, in my estimation, the Bible speaks to the topic of giving only about 15% of everything taught on money. The tragedy is many of our Christian leaders only bring up the discussion on money when more is needed for a special church project. This often gives the appearances of an over emphasis on biblical teaching on money in the specific area of giving.
Third, the money each person possesses belongs to him or her and has no place being addressed in church. This perspective is probably the most pervasive and the subtlest. Many of us live our lives believing that everything we work for and obtain belongs to us. Truth: Two biblical passages immediately come to mind that can help clarify: Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it; the world and all it contains.” This clearly settles any uncertainty of whether God owns everything or not. Deuteronomy 8:18 also states, “…for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth….” Not only does God own everything, but anything we obtain is because God first gave us the ability to get it.
“Managing God’s Money: A Biblical Guide” by Randy Alcorn is an excellent little book that discusses these topics and more on the subject of money and possessions from a biblical perspective. You can get it at most any bookstore or on Amazon.com. Or you can go to the author’s website at www.epm.org.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia can be contacted at www.OneMaster.org.