Why the worry of over money issues and pressures when one of Jesus’ primary admonitions in Matthew 6 and Luke 12 was “don’t worry.” Well, I suspect a couple of primary factors are a radically changed economic reality and a financial blueprint which emphasizes the dangers of money at the expense of the multiplication and maximization of your God-given talents through wise investing and entrepreneurship.
A good cross section of believer’s are wealth, risk, and money adverse in their approach to money making and maximizing their talents. There’s a subtle and not so subtle conviction which fears the love of money more than we fear not being able to provide for our own. We don’t want to be lovers of this world but we also see verses on the righteous leaving an inheritance to their children’s children. We’re left between a proverbial rock and a hard spot. We’re surviving far more than we’re thriving and it’s showing up in our faith journeys.
We view money so cautiously we don’t spend any significant time improving our thinking and skills beyond our pastors teaching and an occasional Dave Ramsey class. For some, we’re pretty comfortable in our two income, suburban homes, giving and tithing as we can and so we don’t consider stretching beyond those comfort parameters. The old wineskin philosophy that “the old is good enough” is alive and well among the financially comfortable.
For others, we’re not comfortable. We’re living month to month, struggling to keep up, and maybe even tired of the “be content” message. We’re avoiding auto repairs, family vacations, the dentist, and sometimes giving to our local church because we just don’t make enough. The sermon messages of tithing and everything will be fine is not cutting it for you. Something is amiss and you know it in your heart.
Both groups are interpreting money matters through the filter of our family and evangelical upbringings. For some that’s adequate and it’s “working out.” For others, you may be open to viewing some scriptures from a new angle.
For example, if you lean towards the money is evil, or a necessary evil formula, then that certainly affects your freedom to explore and multiply your God-given resources – your gifts, use of time and focused energy to go beyond your needs. But if you think God is honored by the multiplication of your talents (within healthy boundaries of course), then you are free to explore and expand for kingdom purposes.
If you’re like me, the unleashing of Christians to pursue bigger ends than just meeting your needs will stimulate your faith with fresh challenges. I believe too many of us believers have taken money making and the maximization of our talents off the table as a dynamic faith topic. Therefore, too many of us are bored and broke, barely getting by.
I’ll leave you with a short word that some of you will be repulsed by because it’s loaded with theological and historical encumbrances. But it goes to the heart of the matter for many believers.
Here we go: God will is for you to “PROSPER.”