December 02, 2008
by: jovial_cynic

image: Down and out on New York pier.gif (Public Domain)

I recently chatted on the phone with my mom, who taught me just about everything I need to know about living frugally (we were relatively poor when I was a kid), and how to save money. Lots of hamburger helper, let me tell you. Anyhow, I told my mom about how my wife and I were trying to make some extra money by selling our handmade wares - me with my figurines, and my wife with her baby blankets, and that by having this extra side money, we were able to spend a little more for Christmas this year. My mom's response blew me away:

"Always be conscious of your spending. You never know who you will have to help."

It wasn't a charge to worry about our own financial stability, or to take care of ourselves. It was a charge to places ourselves in a position of strength for others... and it's in that one line from my mom that most of what the scriptures teach on money can be found.

The bible talks more about money and material possessions than nearly any other topic - more than sin, more than heaven, more than Jesus, and more than homosexuality. It talks about how believers are to treat money, how to be responsible with it, and to view it as a gift from God to be used to help others. Ultimately, the scriptures teach that all things belong to God, including our accumulation of wealth. Believers, therefore, should always view money as an instrument of God to do His work. And what is this work?

My favorite passage from the text:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27 (NIV, emphasis added)

We, who believe, are charged with the task of giving to those who need help. And as my mother said - you never know who you will have to help.

So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:11 (NIV)


kymm said:
your mom sounds like my father, which by God's grace is a tremendous blessing. although money seems to be the last taboo, many people are willing to illude that it is a concern or determining factor within their plans. to live your life, you have to lose it-right? when we give and share what money we have, as well as what time or sincerity we have, both caleb and i feel blessed by the Lord.
additionally, embracing the knowledge that everything we have is, in fact, God's and he has chosen to share it with us, we have peace to live life freely. e.g. i know couples who would start having babies IF they had a house, or 10k in the bank, or a thousand other financial factors were in place, and they will not step out in faith trusting that the Lord will deliver them. They are struggling with marital strife, they don't give and share with those around them because their sole focus is to be frugal so that some day they can have all their ducks in a row and procreate. Money, if perceived to be for our own selfish management will rob more than just the stingy of their joy.

February 15, 2009

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