To most of us, money seems to be a good thing. We want as much
as we can get. However, as Christians, we realize that money is
not an unmixed blessing.
The writer of Proverbs concluded that money is better in
moderation. "Give me neither poverty nor riches," he asked, "but
give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and
disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor
and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God" (Proverbs 30:8-9).
Paul warns the young man Timothy to beware of his attitude toward
money, for "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1
Timothy 6:10). Other scriptures warn of "the deceitfulness of
wealth" (Matthew 13:22) and caution about "uncertain wealth" (1
Money is merely a resource, like our time, talents and energy, to be
used for good. It is a gift from God, who is the ultimate source of
all that we have and are.
From time to time, God will call us to account for our use of the
resources he's entrusted to us.
Everything belongs to him. He created the world and everything
in it. We are merely stewards, managers of his resources. As
such, he expects us to be conduits--letting his good gifts flow on
to bless others, not dams holding it all back for ourselves.
As Thomas a Kempis points
out, the things of this world are
temporal, temporary. They
don't last. Only eternal things
have real value. We use the
temporal things, but our focus
should be on the things that
continue. As Paul wrote to the
Christians in Corinth, "So we
fix our eyes not on what is
seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal."
(2 Corinthians 4:18).
Part of our stewardship involves returning some of our blessings to
God for his work. This is to be the firstfruits, an Old Testament
concept meaning the first grain to be harvested. They are to be
given as an offering to God. The same was true of the firstling or
firstborn of flocks and herds.
We are to honor God by giving him the first, the best we have to
offer. Our gifts are not to be afterthoughts or what's left after
we've spent the rest on ourselves.
God and his purposes are to be our first concern. "Seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to
you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of
its own" (Matthew 6:33-34).
Money can be a good thing, but only if we use it for good
purposes. If we don't have so much that we come to love and trust
it and put it in God's place. If we allow it to flow to others. If we
focus on things that last. And if we offer the best to God for his